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NORTH CAROLINA 
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 

R. BRUCE ETHERIDGE, DIRECTOR 



DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 
jasper L. Stuckey, State Geologist 



Bulletin No. 50 



The Vermiculite Deposits 
of North Carolina 



By 



THOMAS G. MURDOCK AND CHARLES E. HUNTER 



Prepared and Published in Cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority 

under the direction of 
Jasper L. Stuckey, North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development 

and 
H. S. Rankin, Tennessee Valley Authority 



RALEIGH 
1946 



NORTH CAROLINA 
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 

R. BRUCE ETHERIDGE, DIRECTOR 



DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 

JASPER L. STUCKEY, STATE GEOLOGIST 



Bulletin No. 50 



The Vermiculite Deposits 
of North Carolina 

By 
THOMAS G. MURDOCK AND CHARLES E. HUNTER 



Prepared and Published in Cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority 

under the direction of 
Jasper L. Stuckey, North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development 

and 
H. S. Rankin, Tennessee Valley Authority 



RALEIGH 
1946 



North Carolina State Library 

Raleigh, N. C. 



MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF CONSERVATION AND 
DEVELOPMENT 

Governor R. Gregg Cherry, Chairman Raleigh 

J. L. Horne, Vice-Chairman Rocky Mount 

Charles S. Allen . . ".' Durham 

Oscar P. Breece Fayetteville 

J. Wilbur Bunn Raleigh 

K. Clyde Council Wananish 

R. Floyd Crouse Sparta 

W. J. Damtoft Canton 

Percy B. Ferebee Andrews 

A. H. Guion Charlotte 

W. Roy Hampton Plymouth 

R. W. Proctor Marion 

Eric Rodgers Scotland Neck 

Miles J. Smith Salisbury 

D. M. Stafford Pomona 

A. K. WlNGET Albemarle 

R. Bruce Etheridge, Director 



11 



CONTENTS Page 

Letter of Transmittal v 

Preface vi 

Abstract 1 1 

Introduction .' 1 

Production and Reserves 3 

Properties of Vermiculite 4 

Uses of Vermiculite 6 

Geology 7 

Mineralogy of Vermiculite 9 

Sampling of Vermiculite Deposits 10 

Mining Methods 10 

Processing of Vermiculite 12 

Vermiculite Deposits in Other States 14 

Description of Vermiculite Deposits 15 

.Avery County 17 

Frank Deposit 17 

Unproven Localities 17 

Buncombe County 17 

Bee Tree Deposit 17 

Lake Eden Deposit 17 

Other Localities 17 

Clay County 21 

Mark Rogers Property 21 

Barnett Anderson Property 21 

Other Localities 21 

Haywood County 21 

Henderson County .. 21 

Iredell County 22 

Jackson County 22 

Addie District 22 

Fisher Property 22 

Ocher Creek District 22 

Cane Creek District 24 

Caney Fork District 24 

Cowarts Property 26 

John Lovedohol Property 26 

Cowards Property 26 

Other Localities 27 

Macon County 28 

Elli j ay District 28 

Ammons Property 28 

Angel Property 28 

McGuire Property 31 

Bud Mincey Mine 31 

Ellijay Creek Prospect 31 

Gneiss District 31 

Corundum Hill Deposit 31 

Salem School and Pine Grove School Prospects 34 

Other Localities 34 

Charles Mincey Place 34 

Jake Henry Place — 34 

Higdon Mountain 36 

Vance Jennings Place . . — ... 36 

Adams Place . 36 

Norton Property 36 

iii 



CONTENTS — Continued Page 

Madison County 36 

Mitchell County 37 

Bear Creek 37 

Transylvania-Jackson Counties 37 

Canada-Sapphire Section 37 

Upper Wolf Creek 39 

Yancey County 39 

Appendix 40 

Procedure 40 

Apparent Density of Crude Ore 40 

Exfoliation 40 

Apparent Density of Exfoliated Vermicuite 40 

Observations 40 

Samples Tested 41 

Chemical Analyses 49 

ILLUSTRATIONS 

FIGURES 

Figure 1. Placing vermiculite insulation in attic 6 

2. Occurrence of small pegmatite with vermiculite 8 

3. Open cut and hand windlass, Mincey mine, Ellijay 11 

4. No. 1 Pit of Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines 12 

5. Screening plant of Cary Mineral Co., Ammons mine 13 

6. Flow sheet used at Bee Tree plant 14 

7. Screening plant, Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines 14 

8. Vermiculite filling of major joint in serpentinized 

dunite, Ocher Creek 24 

9. Typical jointing of dunite with vermiculite filling, 

Ocher Creek 24 

10. Vermiculite vein over drift portal, Cowarts mine 27 

PLATES 

Plate 1. Location of vermiculite deposits of western North Carolina.. 2 

2. A. Lump of crude vermiculite 5 

B. Exfoliated vermicuulite house-fill insulation 5 

3. Location of dunite formations, Frank District 16 

4. Location of vermiculite mines and prospects, Bee Tree 

District 18 

5. Sections and plan, No. 1 Pit, Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines ... . 19 

6. Section and plan of No. 2 Pit, Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines 20 

7. Location of dunite formation, Addie District 23 

8. Location of vermiculite mine and prospects Caney Fork 

District 25 

9. Vermiculite mines, prospects, and olivine deposits, 

Ellijay District J 29 

10. Geologic map, Ammons Vermiculite Mine 30 

11. Geologic map, Angel Vermiculite Mine 32 

12. Sections and index map, Angel Vermiculite Mine 33 

13. Location of dunite formations, Gneiss District 35 

14. Location of peridotite areas, Sapphire District 38 



IV 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 

Raleigh, North Carolina 
July 1, 1946 

To His Excellency, Hon R. Gregg Cherry, 
Governor of North Carolina. 

Sir: 

I have the honor to submit herewith, as Bulletin No. 50, a 
report entitled "Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina," by 
Thomas G. Murdock and Charles E. Hunter. 

Vermiculite, a non-metallic mineral of a varied industrial 
use, is produced in North Carolina on a small scale. It is hoped 
that the information presented herewith will prove helpful to 
vermiculite producers and perhaps lead to an increased pro- 
duction. 

Respectfully submitted, 

R. Bruce Etheridge, 
Director. 



PREFACE 

Vermiculite has been known to occur in North Carolina for 
many years and there has been a small commercial production 
for the last decade. The present report is the first attempt to 
set forth the pertinent data relative to its geological occurrence 
and technology, based on detailed field examination and labora- 
tory testing. 

These investigations were conducted in cooperation with the 
Tennessee Valley Authority during the summer of 1941; how- 
ever, the pressure of a more critical war program has caused 
the delay in publication. Due to the excellent qualities of 
vermiculite as an insulating material, its possible use in an en- 
larged building program makes the publication at this date quite 
opportune. 

Jasper L. Stuckey, 
State Geologist. 



VI 



THE VERMICULITE DEPOSITS OF NORTH CAROLINA 

By 
Thomas G. Murdock 1 and Charles E. Hunter 2 

ABSTRACT 

Vermiculite is a group of hydrated silicate minerals, with a mica-like cleavage and a peculiar quality of ex- 
foliation with intense heat, that has become of commercial importance in recent years because of its insulating 
properties after dehydration. It occurs associated with the dunite and pyroxenite formations from Clay County 
northeast to Avery County, but the principal production has been in the Ellijay area of Macon County and the 
Swannanoa area of Buncombe County. The mining has been principally from shallow open cuts or drifts along 
the vermiculite veins. 

Most of the North Carolina vermiculite has been exfoliated in oil-fired shaft kilns near the mines at Swan- 
nanoa and Franklin. The processed vermiculite is used principally for loose house-fill insulation and aggregate 
for refractory brick and lightweight insulating concrete. 

More than 30 vermiculite deposits and prospects are described in this report. Exfoliation tests on samples 
from these deposits indicate that 14 of these are promising for commercial use and nine might be beneficiated to 
meet commercial standards. Some of the samples tested were found to be slightly friable, but the material 
produced by the commercial plants is equivalent in quality to the vermiculites from the western States. 

Due to the nature of its occurrence, vermiculite cannot be blocked out or reserves estimated with any degree 
of certainty ; however, a detailed investigation of the occurrences in the State indicates that there might be a 
probable reserve amounting to 212,000 short tons and an additional possible reserve of 228,000 short tons — a 
total of 440,000. The exploitation of this tonnage, however, may necessitate some concessions by the market, a 
wider use, especially in the region near the deposits, and a change in general mining methods. Utilization of the 
vast deposits of olivine might lead to the recovery of low cost by-product vermiculite. 

INTRODUCTION 

The vermiculites of North Carolina are associated with peridotites and other basic magnesium rocks, which 
occur coexistent with the Blue Ridge Mountains, and deposits of apparently commercial grade are found in a 
number of localities between Clay County on the southwest and Avery County on the northeast. The chief 
development has been around Ellijay, Macon County, and near Swannanoa Buncombe County. Promising 
deposits are found, also, at a number of localities in Macon and Jackson Counties. Many of the old abandoned 
corundum mines in Transylvania, Madison, Mitchell, Yancey, and Iredell Counties have showings of vermicu- 
lite. Plate 1 shows the location of the principal deposits which are described in some detail by counties in this 
report. 

The commercial value of vermiculite prior to 1925 was of little or no importance, and the development and 
use of the mineral since that time has been due chiefly to the efforts of the Zonolite Company, whose mines are 
located at Libby, Montana. 

Recognition of the value of vermiculite as an insulating material and as an aggregate in refractories and 
light-weight concrete has led to the development of an industry in North Carolina and since 1933 activities have 
been reported by several companies and individuals. 3 Exfoliation plants have been operated at Bee Tree, Bun- 



1 Assistant State Geologist, Division of Mineral Resources, North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. 

2 Geologist, Regional Products Research Division, Commerce Department, Tennessee Valley Authority. 

3 Hunter, C. E., and Mattocks, P. W., Vermiculites of western North Carolina and north Georgia: Tennessee Valley Auth. Geol. 
Bull. 5, p. 1, 1936. 



PLATE 1 




The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 3 

combe County, by Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines, Inc., and at Franklin, Macon County, by Minerals, Inc., and its 
successor, Vercalite Industries, Inc. Shipments of crude vermiculite have been made by R. G. LeTourneau 
Company of Toccoa, Georgia; Cary Minerals Company of Ellijay, Macon County; Philip S. Hoyt of Franklin, 
Macon County; and others. 

This report presents data obtained in an economic geological field survey and laboratory investigations. The 
work was done during the summer of 1941 as a cooperative project of the Mineral Resources Division, North 
Carolina Department of Conservation and Development and the Regional Products Research Division, Commerce 
Department, Tennessee Valley Authority, under the direction of Dr. Jasper L. Stuckey, State Geologist, and 
Mr. H. S. Rankin, Senior Mining Engineer, respectively. The field investigations were in charge of Thomas G. 
Murdock, Assistant State Geologist of North Carolina, and Charles E. Hunter, Geologist, Tennessee Valley Au- 
thority. The exfoliation tests were made by Mr. F. A. W. Davis, Assistant Mining Engineer at the Authority's 
Minerals Testing Laboratory, Norris, Tennessee. Dr. W. A. Reid, Chemist, Division of Mineral Resources, 
furnished the vermiculite analyses except where otherwise mentioned. The authors were assisted in the field 
surveys by Messrs Mason K. Banks, John W. Harrington, R. S. Ingle, Roy L. Ingram, and William T. McDaniel, 
Jr., student aides from the University of North Carolina, State College and Chapel Hill units. 

The field work was greatly facilitated by the helpful cooperation of many residents of western North Caro- 
lina, particularly that of Messrs. H. A. Coggins, George Coggins, and Eldredge Coggins of Bee Tree Vermicu- 
lite Mines ; F. C. Cary and Alexander Ammons of Cary Mineral Company; E. C. Soper, Theodore Higdon, and El- 
don Coggins of Minerals, Inc. ; and Philip S. Hoyt of Southern Mining and Milling Company, Franklin. 



PRODUCTION AND RESERVES 

The following tabulation gives the production statistics for the entire United States, and for North Caro- 
lina during recent years when there were as many as three producers and the figures could thus be reported 
separately : 

Screened and Cleaned Vermiculate Sold or Used by Producers 1 





UNITED STATES 


NORTH CAROLINA 


Year 


Short tons 


Value 


Value 


per ton 


Short tons 


Value 


Value per ton 


Average 
1926-1930 


604 

3,352 
16,933 
26,556 
20,700 
21,174 
22,299 
23,438 
57,848 
46,645 
54,116 


$ 16,270 

41,822 
185,787 
260,664 
192,000 
174,587 
137,698 
125,444 
319,931 
471,595 
541,744 


$ 


26.94 

12.48 

10.97 

9.77 

9.28 

8.25 

6.18 

5,35 

5.53 

10.11 

10.01 








Average 
1931-1935 








1936 .. 








1937... 








1938 








1939 


1,400 
1,040 


$ 14,400 
8,070 


$ 10.29 


1940 


7.76 


1941 




1942 


1,612 


19,048 


11.75 


1943 




1944 

















U. S. Bur. Mines, Mineral Yearbook, 1940 to 1944. 



During 1943 the exfoliated material was quoted at 70 cents to $1.25 a bag, each bag containing 4 cubic feet 
and weighing 25 pounds, or $56 to $100 a short ton, f . o. b. works. Assuming an average value of $75 a ton for 
exfoliated vermiculite, and a 10 percent loss in weight on exfoliating, the value of sales in the United States, in 
1944, would be approximately $3,652,800. 



4 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

The nature of the occurrence of vermiculite in North Carolina does not permit blocking out ore. This is 
because of its irregularity and the undeterminable amount of gangue. Its continuity, both horizontally and 
vertically, is quite unpredictable. It is with considerable hesitation, therefore, that reserves are estimated. 
Nevertheless, the information gained from a detailed study of the active mining operations and knowledge of 
the general characteristics of the mineral give some data which may be applied in estimating unexploited 
deposits and unprospected areas. In a few cases it is possible to actually make a rough cubication (making a few 
assumptions as to unexposed dimensions), but generally the most practical method is to base the estimate on 
the reported production of some other property which offers certain general similarities. In considering the re- 
serves on a regional basis, it is believed that the figures are conservative. 

It seems desirable to make a separation of the reserves into two classes, on the basis of what might be 
termed "probable vermiculite" and "possible vermiculite." Any other classification is obviously impractical. 
These terms are purely arbitrary ones and indicate in general a different degree of potentiality. 

No estimate can be attempted regarding the relative quality of the reserves. The exfoliation tests indicate 
that the samples from outcrops do not give an exact index as to the grade of the material which may be found at 
depth; the samples from producing properties are consistently heavier after exfoliation than is similar ma- 
terial when processed in a plant, due to the difficulty of reproducing commercial plant conditions in a laboratory. 
In general, it is believed that the estimated tonnages are of a quality which has some commercial possibility. 

Estimated Reserves of Vermiculite in North Carolina 

COUNTY PROBABLE POSSIBLE TOTAL 

(Short Tons) (Short Tons (Short Tons) 

Avery 14,000 9,000 23,000 

Buncombe 45,000 34,000 79,000 

Clay 10,000 10,000 20,000 

Jackson 48,000 52,000 100,000 

Macon 85,000 93,000 178,000 

Others 40,000 40,000 

Total. 202,000 238,000 440,000 

PROPERTIES OF VERMICULITE 

The properties of vermiculite have been summarized by Petar 5 as follows : 

The most pronounced characteristic of vermiculite is its extraordinary expansion on 
heating; the volume may increase up to 16 times the original (pi. 2). Some varieties 
contain as much as 20 percent of water and the expansion or exfoliation takes place in 
only one direction, at right angles to the cleavage. At the same time the color changes 
from black or dark brown to a silvery or golden hue, according to the degree of heat and 
the exposure to the air. The change of color is believed to be due to the oxidation of the 
iron. The specific gravity of the raw material is in the neighborhood of 2.5 whereas after 
heating, the expanded mass has been reported to have an apparent gravity as low as 0.087. 
The untreated material weighs about 100 pounds per cubic foot; after heat-treatment the 
average product varies in weight from 6 to 20 pounds per cubic foot. 

The exfoliation of vermiculite has been described by Byers G as follows : 

The scales or plates of all micas and vermiculites have a strong tendency to warp 
when heated strongly and it is this warping that causes the expansion of the material. 
The dehydration causes unequal strain within the crystals when the water is expelled, 
and this strain causes them to warp and twist. The reason vermiculite expands is because 
the bonding of the planes of cleavage is weaker than the warping and twisting force and 
the plates are pressed apart, while in micas the bonds between the planes of cleavage are 
stronger than the twisting force which results in the same warping and twisting of the 
whole sheet, with some spreading thereof or a trace of swelling, but with no such expansion 
as occurs on heating a vermiculite in which the crystals are less tightly bound due to the 
natural solvent action along cleavages before the subsequent heat treatment. Warping 
occurs only while the water is being driven off and a dehydrated vermiculite will not 
warp or expand further with subsequent heating. 



5 Petar, Alice V., Vermiculite: U. S. Bur. Mines Inf. Circ. 6720, p. 1, 1933. 

°Byers, W. B., Method of treating vermiculites, U. S. Patent 2,030,239, pp. 2-3, Feb. 11, 1936. 



PLATE 2 







N 

N j 

£ X 

- j § | 

- II 



N 



- 



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6 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

The thermal conductivity 7 of expanded vermiculite compares favorably with other materials, as shown in 
the following table : 

Thermal Conductivity of Vermiculite Compared with Other Materials 8 

Material Weight per cubic foot Thermal Conductivtiy 1 

Expanded Vermiculite 6 lbs. 0.26 

Mineral Wool 2 to 7 lbs. 0.27-0.30 

Compressed Cotton.. 6.3 lbs. 0.21-0.29 

Pure Wool 6.24 lbs. 0.26-0.32 

Cork, "ground 8.1 lbs. 0.27-0.31 

USES OF VERMICULITE 9 

The best grades of expanded vermiculite have a weight of 6 to 8 pounds per cubic foot. This low density, 
together with the properties of comparatively high refractoriness, low thermal conductivity, and freedom from 
deterioration, makes it ideal for thermal and acoustic insulation. Fireproof insulating boards made of the ex- 
panded material can be used between two sheets of metal in the form of standard units for pre-fabricated metal 
houses, and will withstand exposures to 1,700°F. without any appreciable expansion or contraction. 




Fig. 1. Placing Vermiculite Insulation in Attic. 



In loose, granular form, the expanded material is used extensively as a fill insulation in the walls and roofs 
of dwellings (see fig. 1), industrial buildings, furnaces, oven and refrigerators. It is also used in thermal jugs, 
as filling in life preservers, and as a loose fill for packing chemicals, shells and bombs. 

Expended vermiculite, combined with bonding materials, is fabricated into a wide variety of products, 
such as pipe covering, insulating blocks, refractory insulating concrete, roof fill, high temperature cements, 
insulating and acoustical plasters and tiles, and structural roof slabs. 



7 Conductivity: British Thermal Units transmitted per hour per square foot of material one inch thick, per C F. difference in 
temperature of the two faces. 

8 Tyler, P. M., Home insulation, an effective conservation and national defense measure: U. S. Bur. Mines Inf. Circ. 7166, p. 10, 
1941. 

9 Gwinn, G. R., Marketing vermiculite: Bur. Mines Inf. Circ. 7270, pp. 9-10, January 1944. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 7 

Precast slabs of concrete, using vermiculite as an aggregate can be assembled into a finished structure, 
and can be sawn, cut, drilled and nailed in much the same way as lumber. Vermiculite concrete is an ex- 
tremely light-weight building material, weighing 20 to 40 pounds per cubic foot. It has a compressive 
strength of 50 to 250 pounds per square inch and a thermal conductivity of 0.60 to 0.80 B.t.u. at 50° to 90° F. 
It is made like ordinary concrete ; expanded vermiculite of 3- to 20-mesh size is used as an aggregate in place 
of sand, gravel, or stone. The most common use of vermiculite concrete is as insulating roof fill, lightweight 
soundproofing, insulating floor fill, and structural roof deck. Cants, saddles, and slopes for roof drainage 
also may be made from this. When poured around steel girders, vermiculite concrete protects them from 
buckling if they are exposed to prolonged intense heat, and, because of its light weight, it greatly reduces 
the dead weight in building construction. During the war, slabs and blocks of this concrete were placed 
on decks and used as fire walls on tankers in danger of bomber attack. 

There is an increased use of vermiculite insulating brick. Industry utilizes a lightweight type made 
expressedly to obtain the lowest possible conductivity, even though structural strength is sacrified, and also 
one which may be used for building purposes. The lightweight brick are used principally in the arches of 
open-hearth furnaces, where no structural strength is needed and where they may be used repeatedly. The 
structural brick find a wide utilization in petroleum cracking units, where they serve as a combination re- 
fractory and insulator. 

A plastic insulation made with vermiculite is used on the exterior of boilers and refinery columns for heat 
insulation and on the interior of automobiles and airplanes for sound proofing. 

Some highly specialized uses of vermiculite have been widely adopted by the trade ; others are still in the 
experimental stage but may be expected to increase its future application. Some of the more common uses 
are as a filler for linoleum, an ingredient of grease and enamel, paint pigments, filter for greases and oils, partial 
substitute for cork, soil conditioner, and insecticide carrier. 

The consumption of vermiculite in North Carolina, and the South in general, is expected to increase. This 
is an exceptionally good area for the marketing of insulation material, because of the extended hot season, the 
high cost of fuel during the winter, and the fact that the local supply of lightweight concrete aggregates is 
limited. 10 For several years vermiculite has been recognized as a satisfactory loose house-fill material in this 
area. Recently it has begun to be accepted as standard roof deck material for large flat top construction. Re- 
search is continuing on its use in plaster, acoustical board, light-weight precast concrete, pipe insulation, and 
protection for steel frame work, and the germination of seeds. According to laboratory tests conducted by 
North Carolina University 11 in cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority, vermiculites mined in North 
Carolina are equivalent in quality and interchangeable in use with the Montana vermiculites. 12 

GEOLOGY 

Vermiculite, one of the important accessory minerals found in the peridotite formations of western North 
Carolina, was known in Massachusetts as early as 1824 when Webb 13 gave it this name from the Latin "verm- 
iculari, to breed worms," because of its property of expanding and unfolding into worm-like forms when heated. 
Vermiculite is commonly regarded as an alteration product of biotite or phlogopite due to hydrothermal 
agencies. 14 Field evidence indicates that the North Carolina vermiculites more properly belong to the chlorite 
group and have retained the optical character and the cleavage of the original chlorite mineral from which they 



10 Moyer, F. T., Lightweight aggregates for concrete: U. S. Bur. Mines Inf. Circ. 7195, p. 24, January 1942. 

11 Scholes, W. A., and others, The development of lightweight concrete from North Carolina vermiculites: North Carolina Univ. 
Eng. Exper. Sta. Bull. 24, 70 pp., 1942. 

12 Bowles, O., Vermiculite: U. S. Bur. Mines Mineral Trade Notes, vol. 13, no. 6, p. 26, December 20, 1941. 

13 Webb, T. H., New localities of tourmaline and talc: Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 7, p. 55, 1824. 

14 Spence, H. S., Mica (Chapter), Industrial minerals and rocks (Seeley W. Mudd Series), Am. Inst. Min. Eng., p. 460, 1937. 
Gwin, G. R., op. cit., p. 2. 

Scholes, W. A. and others, op. cit., p. 7. 

Kriegel, W. W., Summary of occurrencs, properties, and uses of vermiculite at Libby, Montana: Am. Ceramic Soc. Bull., vol. 

19, no. 3, pp. 94-97, March 1940. 



8 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

were derived. It is believed that most of the North Carolina deposits have been formed by hydration and altera- 
tion of chlorite and that the type of chlorite altered frequently has determined the properties of the resulting 
vermiculite. 

The rock formations in the mountain province of western North Carolina are mostly crystalline schists, 
gneisses and granites, and are considered to be pre-Cambrian in age. These formations have a prevailing north- 
east and southwest strike and a southeast dip, although locally these may vary considerably. The principal 
vermiculite deposits of the State are associated with dunites and pyroxenites intruded into these highly crystal- 
line formations. These basic intrusions range in diameter from a few feet to more than a mile. The geological 
features of these dunite and pyroxenite formations were discussed in detail by Pratt and Lewis 15 and later by 
Hunter 16 . 




Fig. 2. Occurrence of Small Pegmatite with Vermiculite. 



Vermiculite was first noted in North Carolina by Dr. Genth 17 in 1873 as a mineral associated with corun- 
dum. Essentiality all the commercial production from North Carolina has been derived from deposits associated 
with ultra-basic igneous formations — dunites and pyroxenites. Vermiculite-like material of inferior quality is 
occasionally found associated with biotite schists and pegmatites. Some vermiculite probably occurs with all 
the basic-magnesian rock formations of North Carolina. However, the principal deposits are associated with 
the purest dunites and pyroxenites into which pegmatites have been intruded or segregated from the original 
basic magma (see fig. 2). 



is Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., Corundum and peridotites of western North Carolina: North Carolina Geol. and Econ. Survey, 
vol. 1, 464 pp., 1905. 

16 Hunter, C. E., Forsterite olivine deposits of North Carolina and Georgia: North Carolina Dept. Cons, and Devel. Bull. 41, 117 
pp., 1941. 

17 Genth, F. A., Corundum, its alteration and associated minerals: Am. Phil. Soc, vol. 13, p. 359, 1873. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 9 

« 

The largest and most persistent of the vermiculite veins and lenses are found along the contact between the 
dunite or pyroxenite masses and the enclosing schists or gneisses. However, the purest veins are those along 
interior fractures or zones of weakness within the basic formation. The width of the vermiculite veins may 
vary from a tiny stringer to more than 20 feet. They usually have a steep dip and may strike in any direction. 
Small amounts of unaltered chlorite often are found in the vermiculite veins. The depth at which a vein is pre- 
dominantly chlorite is generally determined by the depth of local weathering and drainage. It is interesting to 
note that core drilling of the dunite formation 18 at Webster has revealed vermiculite zones at a depth of 157 
feet. 

MINERALOGY OF VERMICULITE 

•The term "vermiculites" includes a number of individual minerals, members of a group of hydrated 
silicates, the best known of which are vermiculite and jefferisite. Dana 19 lists a number of other varieties in- 
cluding culsageeite, kerrite, lucasite, lennilite, hallite, painterite, pelhamite, philadelphite, vaalite, proto-verm- 
iculite, maconite, dudleyite, pyrosclerite, roseite, and wilcoxite. 

Pratt and Lewis 20 list six varieties from North Carolina and describe them as follows : 

1. Jefferisite (or Culsageeite) occurs at the Corundum Hill mine in foliated masses of yellowish-brown 
color and also in greenish, brownish yellow scales not over one-eighth of an inch in diameter. 

2. Kerrite consists of innumerable fine scales of a pale greenish-yellow color and of a pearly luster and was 
also found at the Corundum Hill mine. 

3. Maconite was also found at the Corundum Hill mine and is a dark-brown scaly mineral with pearly luster 
inclining to sub-metallic. It closely resembles the scaly jefferisite. 

4. Lucasite, also similar to jefferisite and found at the Corundum Hill mine, is yellowish brown in color 
and made up of small laminae not over 2 mm. in diameter. The basal cleavage is eminent and the 
luster is sub-metallic to greasy. It is found with grass-green actinolite. 

5. Wilcoxite occurs in greenish white scales of a pearly luster, somewhat resembling talc. It has been 
identified at Shooting Creek and the Buck Creek mine in Clay County ; also at the Corrundum Hill mine. 
It is one of the easier of the vermiculites to identify in the field. 

6. Dudleyite has been found very sparingly. It has a soft bronze or brownish yellow color and a pearly 
luster. 

All of these minerals have a decidedly soft greasy feel whether wet or dry and the laminae are elastic. 

The following tabulation shows the varying chemical composition of the six varieties just listed: 21 

Chemical Composition of Some North Carolina Vermiculites 



Si0 2 

A1 2 3 .... 




la 

33.97 
18.87 


2 

38.31 

11.41 

1.93 

0.32 


3 
34.22 
21.53 
12.41 
0.32 
0.12 
14.46 


4 

39.81 

12.99 

5.29 

0.11 

24.83 


5a 

29.23 

37.53 

1.33 

2.41 

17.27 


6 

32.43 
28.42 


Fe 2 3 

FeO 

NiO 




5.17 
0.46 
0.46 . 

22.57 


4.99 
1.72 


MgO 

(NiCo)O . 


26.30 
0.29 


16.87 


Na 2 

K 2 






0.51 
5.70 


0.20 
5.76 
0.54 
0.05 
0.14 


6.49 

2.44 


1.52 
0.56 


Cr 2 3 _ 










MnO 












CaO 














Li0 2 










0.19 


H 2 . 








11.85 


10.76 


3.66 . 




Ignition 




18.83 


21.22 


13.43 




from tv 






Total 

Specific Gravity 

a Average of samples 


100.33 
vo localities. 


99.78 
2.303 


101.12 
2.827 


100.48 


100.36 


100.12 



1S Hunter, C. E., Murdoch:, T. G., and MacCarthy, G. R., Chromite deposits of North Carolina: North Carolina Dept. Cons, and 

Devel. Bull. 42, p. 32, 1942. 
10 Dana, J. D., The system of mineralogy, descriptive mineralogy, 6th ed., pp. 664-668, New York, Jno. Wiley & Sons, 1909. 

20 Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., op. cit., pp. 319-322. 

21 Idem. 



10 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

SAMPLING OF VERMICULITE DEPOSITS 

In the course of the investigation 30 samples of vermiculite were collected. An effort was made to secure 
samples representative of the material which might be obtained by selective mining. Where stock-piles or 
materials in bins were available, at the active and abandoned properties, the sample was taken from these 
sources rather than from material in place. It is logical to believe that where the outcrops have not been 
prospected the vermiculite is very badly weathered and a sample taken at a greater depth would be higher 
grade. This fact should be considered in evaluating the results of the exfoliation tests. 

The samples ranged in weight from 20 to 25 pounds when originally taken but were partly dried when they 
reached the laboratory. A 1-pound sample was taken from each larger sample for chemical analysis. The 
source of the sample is given in the Appendix following the description of the tests. Inasmuch as a satisfactory 
grade of vermiculite was being produced at the active properties, only a single sample was taken at some of 
these and more sampling was done at virgin deposits where there appeared to be sufficient quantity to warrant 
exploration. For purposes of comparison, several samples of material which was clearly not a true vermiculite 
were taken. 

The samples were sent to the Authority's Minerals Testing Laboratory at Norris, Tennessee for exfoliation. 
The results of these tests are given in the Appendix of this report. 

MINING METHODS 22 

Vermiculite along the contact zones of the dunite masses was a serious deferent to early corundum opera- 
tions. The mineral is so soft and slippery that a tremendous amount of timber was necessary to hold the verm- 
iculite in place so that the drift could be continued through the vein. In many cases the drift had to be aban- 
doned because of the inability to hold back the vermiculite. 

Many of these old corundum drifts have now been reopened to mine the vermiculite. In other localities, 
where vermiculite was found outcropping, new drifts were run to intersect the vein. If a large pocket was struck 
in these, a good tonnage could be recovered, but if the pocket proved to be small the venture often failed. One 
of the chief disadvantages of this method is the poor recovery in case all of the mineral does not slump, which is 
frequently the case since the veins alternately widen, pinch, and at times disappear completely. This method 
is also dangerous because the miners have to work under tons of material which they are trying to make fall. 
The frequent joints in the peridotite cause large blocks to become loose when undermined, and supporting these 
requires considerable timber. In some cases vermiculite caves all the way to the surface, causing subsidence and 
making impossible the recovery of any pockets which are not interconnected with that being pulled. 

The principal underground development for vermiculite has been at the Ammons mine where over 1,100 
feet of development work has been done. This includes a 96-foot shaft with drifts at the bottom and on an in- 
termediate level. Other work consists of a series of drifts into the side of a hill, following interior zones of 
weakness in the weathered and serpentinized dunite. These drifts follow and intersect veins and zones of 
high-grade vermiculite, and are carried on a slight up-grade to provide drainage; they are irregularly spaced 
vertically and in general run in a northerly direction. The drifts are usually 6 feet high by 5 feet wide and had 
to be timbered and lagged as advanced. Local pine and chestnut timber was used, the size varying with the 
ground conditions. Drifting usually entailed only excavation of the ground by alternate picking and shovelling 
in the face ; the weathered and serpentinized dunite is so soft that blasting is generally not necessary. Under- 
ground transport was by wheelbarrows equipped with rubber tires. The waste material was dumped near the 
mouth of the drift and the vermiculite into a wooden chute leading to a tram car on the level of the lowest drift, 
which carried it to the screening plant about 400 feet away. The gangue minerals were hand picked from the 
vermiculite as it came from the vein and the crude product was sometimes partially dried in the sun prior to 
screening. 



Murdock, T. G., Vermiculite mining in North Carolina: Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Contr. 26-H, February 1942. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



11 



The Angel mine, adjacent to the Amnions, has been developed partly by drifts but more recently an open- 
cut method has been introduced, and also used at the Bud Mincey mine, just east of Ellijay Post Office. In this 
open-cut method a vein was located by the vermiculite float which occurs in the soil as flakes. The strike of the 
vein was determined as well as the location of any lenses near the surface. This can be done by a little pick 
work. Where outcrops are found to be large enough to mine, actual extraction can be started, either bagging 
the vermiculite immediately or drying it in the sun. When a pocket pinches out, or an excess amount of gangue 
or wall rock must be handled, the miners move along the strike to another location. As the cut gets deeper, a 
hand windlass mounted on skids is placed over the section being mined (see fig. 3) and the vermiculite is 
hoisted to the surface. At both these properties the wall rock is a fairly sound olivine and a few stulls are 
all the timber that is needed. 




Fig. 3. Open Cut and Hand Windlass, Mincey Mine, Ellijay. 

Operations at the Bee Tree mine were by open-cut methods, employing hand mining. The main production 
was from No. 1 pit (see fig. 4.) Overburden is absent on the northwest side but measures 4 feet on the southeast 
side. The pit reaches a maximum depth of 50 feet from the northwest rim where a joint surface of pyroxenite 
outcrops, forming the upper limit of the pit and dipping 54°SW. A road enters 6 feet above the bottom of the 
pit and permits proper spotting of a truck for transporting vermiculite to the plant and providing a bench for 
shovelling muck from the pit bottom to the truck. Waste disposal was accomplished by dumping into a flume, 
with water pumped from a small dam on a nearby branch. 



12 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



The operations of R. G. LeTourneau Company at Corundum Hill used a bulldozer. The method consisted es- 
sentially of pushing the weathered dunite away from the exposed veins and pockets of vermiculite, loading these 
out by hand and then repeating the cycle. The hillside topography provides ample room for waste disposal and 
large boulders are easily removed. Considerable dilution would be expected from such a process, but the im- 
purities are mostly in the fines and can be removed by screening either before or after exfoliation. The Le- 
Tourneau Company also mined some vermiculite by sinking an eight-foot circular boiler plate caisson in a verm- 




Fig. 4. No. 1 Pit of Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines. 

iculite zone to a depth of about 12 feet, thus supporting the walls and permitting the ready removal of the verm- 
iculite. 

The operations of the Bee Tree Vermiculite Company, near Tigerville, South Carolina, use a bulldozer for 
mining, with considerable success. 

It is believed that the use of a bulldozer will be of increasing importance in future mining. 



PROCESSING OF VERMICULITE 23 

Vermiculite processing plants have been operated at Ellijay and Franklin in Macon County and Swannanoa 
in Buncombe County. The Cary Minerals Company plant at Ellijay has not been operated since 1941 and part 
of the Bee Tree Vermiculite Company plant has been moved to Tigerville, South Carolina, where it has operated 



-'" Murdock, T. G., op. cit. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



13 



since 1943 ; essentially the same flow-sheet, with some minor improvements, is in use. The plant at Franklin 
operated part time during the war, however the Vercalite Industries, Inc. is now on a full-time schedule. 

The flow sheet of the screening plant of the Cary Minerals Company operation was quite simple. The plant 
(see fig. 5) was constructed on a hillside and the crude vermiculite moved by gravity from the bin at the end of 
the tram lines from the nearby mine workings to the storage shed and loading platform. The rotary drier 
used was 4 feet in diameter, 20 feet long, and inclined at a 31/2° angle. It revolved slowly and was wood-fired, 
the temperature being insufficient to cause exfoliation. From the lower end of the drier the vermiculite fed into 
a small Sturtevant crusher, discharging into a revolving screen four feet in diameter, 18 feet long. The screen 
was divided into 18 panels and made a classification of six sizes. 




Fig. 5. Screening Plant of Cary Mineral Co., Ammons Mine. 



At the plant of Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines both screening and exfoliation was carried out. These opera- 
tions are shown in detail in the accompanying flow-sheet (see fig. 6) . The drying was carried out in a rotary 
kiln, 3 feet in diameter and 20 feet long. Fuel oil was used and consumption was 2 to 2-i/ 2 gallons per hour, de- 
pending upon the moisture content of the crude vermiculite, and the quantity dried was between % ton and 3 
' tons per hour. The crusher was of the type commonly used in crushing tan bark and had a maximum capacity 
of 5 tons per hour. The screening plant (see fig. 7) employed vibrating screens for the largest sizes. The 40- 
mesh screen was a fixed one, discharging overs to the fines bin. The expander was a shaft furnace, approx- 
imately 20 inches square in cross-section and rising to a height of 22 feet. The falling feed passed over stag- 
gered baffles and upon coming in contact with the ascending heat from an oil-fired burner, at a temperature of 
2,000°F., exfoliated or opened up into the characteristic accordion-like porous granules, the result of the trans- 
formation into steam of the combined water in the crude vermiculite. The continuation of the fall of the ex- 
panded material to the bottom of the shaft brought about quick cooling and thus rendered it tough and pliable. 
The different sizes were exfoliated separately for best results, and to avoid any tendency of the larger sizes to 
insulate the smaller ones and prevent their exfoliation. The expander consumed 6-!/o to 7-Vl> gals, of fuel oil 
per hour and its normal capacity varied between 40 and 48 bags of finished product per hour, each bag weighing 



14 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



25 pounds and containing approximately 4 cubic feet. A cyclone was placed at the top of the expander and the 
finer particles of "stack dust" were collected in this way. When house fill and concrete aggregate sizes were 
being expanded the fines blown out into the cyclone amounted to about 4 cubic feet per hour. An 8-mesh oscil- 
lating screen, driven by a small motor, was placed between the expander and the sacking shed, in a chute lead- 
ing from the top of the bucket elevator at the foot of the expander. Electric power was used throughout the 
plant — the vibrating screens and bucket elevators being driven by I-V2 hp. motors ; the screw conveyor and the 
drier by a lYi hp. motor; and the crusher and drag conveyor by a 5-hp. one. 

VERMICULITE DEPOSITS IN OTHER STATES 

Vermiculite has been reported in eleven States in this country, however the principal commercial develop- 
ments have been in Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. The 
greater part of the production has come from Montana, from the operations of the Zonolite Company, in the 
Rainy Creek district near Libby. According to Pardee and Larsen- 4 the deposits occur in a stock of alkaline 





Mine Pit 

1 






1 
Truck 

1 






1 
Storage Sr 

Screw Con 


ed 




veyor 




1 
Rotary Kil 

Crusher 


n 








1 
Drag Conveyor 




Bucket Elevator 




20-Mesh Screen 




Over 

I 


Under 

1 


8- Mesh Screen 




40-Mesh Screen 


Over Under 




Over Under 


HOUSE FILL AMRE9ATE 
BIN BIN 




FINES FINES 
STOCKPILE WASTE 


Bucket Elevator 

1 




1 
Expander 






1 
Bucket Elevator 






8- Mesh Screen 
Over Under 






HOUSE FILL A98RE0ATE 
BIN BIN 




Sacks Sacks 



Fig. 6. Flow Sheet Used at Bee Tree Plant. 



rocks that is intruded into Algonkian argillites and quartzites. The operations of the Zonolite Company have 
been described by Steele. 25 Several promising occurrences of vermiculite have been reported from Colorado and 
Alderson- has described those near Salida, Iola, and Westcliffe. The jefferisite variety occurs in the Brinton 
serpentine quarry, near West Chester, Pennsylvania ; the deposit was worked in 1929 by John Warren Watson 



24 Pardee, J. T., and Larsen, E. S., Deposits of vermiculite and other minerals in the Rainy Creek district near Libby, Montana: 

U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 805-B, pp. 1-12, 1929. 
2Z Steele, W. S., Vermiculite production and marketing by the Zonolite Company: Am. Inst. Min. Eng. Trans., vol. 109, pp. 418- 

426, 1934. 
26 Alderson, V. C, Jefferisite: Colorado School of Mines Inf. Circ, 4 pp., undated. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



15 



Company of Philadelphia. Some production was reported in 1931 by the Parco Development Company, from a 
property near Encampment, Wyoming. Vermiculite occurrences in Georgia have beenreported by Smith, 27 and 
later by Prindle. ~ s 

Since 1943 the Bee Tree Vermiculite Company has been exploiting two of five known deposits, about 1 mile 
east of Tigerville, Greenville County, South Carolina. These deposits have been prospected by shafts and by 
auger borings. The widths of their outcrops range from 40 to 175 feet ; the lengths range from 150 to 800 feet. 
In some shafts, good quality vermiculite has been found to a depth of 45 feet. The occurrence, a result of the 
alteration of pyroxenite lenses in the Carolina gneiss, is an unusual one ; the entire mass of pyroxenite has been 




Fig. 7. Screening Plant, Bee Tree Vermiculite Mines. 

altered so completely that it is difficult to locate even a small remnant. The vermiculite exposed by mining op- 
erations is cut by several pegmatites, 1 to 3 feet thick. The rather complete alteration of the pyroxenite has re- 
sulted in a very uniform vermiculite which is well adapted to low-cost mining by open-cut methods and the pro- 
duction of a small flake material suitable for use as concrete aggregate. Vermiculite reserves in the area with- 
in a 1-mile radius of the company's plant have been estimated at 300,000 tons. 



DESCRIPTION OF NORTH CAROLINA VERMICULITE DEPOSITS 

For convenience of description the occurrences are discussed by counties (which are taken up alpha- 
betically) . However, most of the production has been from Buncombe and Macon Counties. The deposits have 
been named from nearby prominent geographic points, or are identified by the name of the owner of the prop- 
erty where they are found. In most cases these names coincide with those applied to the same occurrences in 



27 Smith, R. W., Vermiculite, the heat insulator of tomorrow: Georgia Div. Geology Inf. Circ. 3, p. 2, 1934. 

28 Prindle, L. M. Kyanite and vermiculite deposits of Georgia: Georgia Geol. Survey Bull. 46, pp. 41-45, 1935. 



PLATE 3 




The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 17 

previous reports. The estimate of tonnage reserves is given by counties in a previous section of this report. De- 
tailed results of the exfoliation tests, chemical analyses, and identification of the source of the samples are given 
in the Appendix. 

AVERY COUNTY 

FRANK DEPOSIT 

The Frank deposit is % mile west of the Frank Post Office, on U. S. Highway 19-E (see pi. 3). 29 The verm- 
iculite is associated with anthophyllite zones in a dunite mass approximately 1,400 feet long and 400 feet wide. 
The development consists of several small open cuts which expose asbestos and vermiculite. One carload of 
vermiculite was shipped from this deposit in 1936. The exploitation of the property appears to be possible 
only through the production of by-product anthophyllite. 

UNPROVEN LOCALITIES 

Small bodies of olivine, with some chlorite, are found near Senia Post Office and north and east of Frank. 
It might be advisable to prospect these localities. 

BUNCOMBE COUNTY 

BEE TREE DEPOSIT 

The Bee Tree deposit is about 21/2 miles north of Swannanoa and a short distance south of Asheville City 
Bee Tree water reservoir (see pi. 4) . 

The development here consists of three principal workings. All the production in this area has been from 
open cuts. The largest of these is found on a hill to the east of the home of H. A. Coggins and a short distance 
south of Spruce Branch. This cut, about 75 feet in diameter, has been almost entirely in vermiculite which oc- 
curs along the contacts of a pyroxenite mass (see pi. 5) . Several small pits along the strike to the northeast of 
the largest cut have encountered good quality vermiculite. 

About 1,300 feet northwest of this cut and near Bee Tree Dam is another open cut, on the northwest limb of 
the pyroxenite mass. This latter cut has exposed several zones of vermiculite 8 to 12 feet in width and occurring 
as interior veins in pyroxenite (see pi. 6) . Numerous small pits and trenches have shown the presence of verm- 
iculite to the northeast of this cut. 

About % mile southwest of Bee Tree Dam and on the north side of Bee Tree Creek, there occurs an ex- 
cellent prospect. The vermiculite at this point is exposed by an erosion ditch and prospect pits along the eastern 
border of the lens. 

Perhaps 50 percent of the vermiculite in the Bee Tree area is suitable for house-fill material. 

The principal associated minerals in the Bee Tree area are chlorite and actinolite. Hornblende inclusions 
are found in several places. 

LAKE EDEN DEPOSIT 

The Lake Eden deposit is % mile southeast of the Bee Tree. This property has been developed by an open 
cut, which exposes commercial grade orthoclase and muscovite in a pegmatite. A small amount of vermiculite 
occurs at the contact between altered pyroxenite and the pegmatite. It is possible that commercial grade verm- 
iculite might be found along the contact zone to the northeast and southwest of the workings as only a small 
amount of prospecting has been done there. This property, however, has greater merit for its mica and feld- 
spar; it has been exploited for these minerals, both some years ago and more recently. 

OTHER LOCALITIES 

There are a few unproven localities in Buncombe County where some prospecting seems advisable. For ex- 
ample there are peridotite and pyroxenite areas between Swannanoa and Oteen ; dunite masses are near Demo- 
crat and Newfound Gap ; and, serpentine occurs in the Juno area. 



29 Quadrangles shown in index map of Avery County, and in other county maps following are 7%' quadrangles prepared by Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority on scale of 1:24,000. 



North Carolina Stafe Uhrsr/ 
gdeigh, N. C. 



PLATE 4 




PLATE 5 



Fault zone 




Surface 



FIG A 

CROSS SECTION OF CONTACT VEIN 
TAKEN N 20" £ 




Vermiculite vein 
shown in Fig. A 



Highest side of pit 




FIG B 

CROSS SECTION OF INTERIOR VEIN 
TAKEN PARALLEL TO JOINT FACE - S 68° E 



>;; Sta A 



SYMBOLS: 

I V —Pyroxenite 
\ = i— -Vermiculite 
V A — Roan gneiss 
V/A — fault surface 
fc^l— Pegmatite 



Scale 4 



8 Feet 

si 



FIG C 

PLAN VIEW 

Vertical distance between A -3 =50'. 
Direction of slope shown by hachures. 



I 1 1 



I I ' I I 



REV. 






DATE MADE CHKDJSUPV. INSP. 



DRWN- 

TRCD.-HPl... 
CHKD. 



COMPUTED 
ENGINEER 



BEETREE, BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N. C. 



SECTIONS AND PLAN 

NO. I PIT 

BEETREE VERMICULITE MINES 



NC DEPT OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 

DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 

AND 

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT 



KNOXVILLE 



4-16-42 W CO I 82IGI6R0 



PLATE 6 




s. 










$-5 



««. 1 



§ % "* *- 

<3 T k % ^ 

v. ki "*J -9 



1] Uj 



fry _OJ 




O 

z 

>-* 

H 
Z 
=> 

o 
o 

u 

CD 

O 
O 

z 

D 
CD 

bJ 
U 

cc 

H 

ui 
u 
to 



wot 

-Z -I 
< u. U 

2z* 

^| Ui 

*°- u 
U ^ U 

a|P 

OQ < UJ 
Ui 

m 



Q in 

_j uj 
y o 



12 



z o 
°o 



51 

■* u 

UJ ^ 

So i 

id o 

i u 

bl 




5: 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 21 

CLAY COUNTY 

As in other counties, the vermiculite of Clay County is found in association with the peridotites. These 
basic formations are found only in the eastern part of the county, on the headwaters of Shooting Creek and of 
Buck Creek. 30 

Prospecting for vermiculite has been carried out at several localities, particularly near Shooting Creek 
Post Office. Some commercial shipments have been reported from this county. 31 

MARK ROGERS PROPERTY 

The Mark Rogers property is I-V2 miles southeast of Shooting Creek Post Office. Prospect pits expose small 
veins of fair quality vermiculite along the east contact of a pyroxenite mass ; poorer grade material, occurring as 
a six-foot vein, is exposed on the west contact of the mass. 

BARNETT ANDERSON PROPERTY 

To the south of the Mark Rogers property and approximately V4 mile N.13°W. from the Barnett Anderson 
home on Giesky Creek, a single pit has been sunk, on the eastern contact of a pyroxenite mass with gneiss. A 
5-foot zone of a vermiculite-like schistose material is exposed 6 feet from the contact. This material was 
sampled as representative of that frequently mistaken for true vermiculite. 

OTHER LOCALITIES 

One mile from the mouth of Thumping Creek and 3 miles east of Shooting Creek Post Office, vermiculite oc- 
curs as small lenticular masses on either side of a hypersthene dike. According to Bryson 32 "this dike extends 
some little distance across the hills and valleys and at one or two places cross-cutting showed vermiculite zones 
of 15 or 20 feet with a length a little greater. At one place a depth of 35 feet was reached without any change 
in the material." 

Two and one-half miles up Buck Creek and near the top of the rugged Nantahala Mountains, large masses 
of dunite suggest possible localities for future exploration. The dunite deposit consists of a series of intrusions, 
some of which have undergone much alteration. 33 It is cut by many small pegmatites, which have apparently 
contributed to the alteration of parts of the dunite into chlorite. It appears highly possible that development 
along the contacts and interior zones of weakness of the dunite would locate some commercial vermiculite. Pratt 
and Lewis 34 definitely record the occurrence of both wilcoxite and dudleyite at Buck Creek, the latter very 
sparingly. 

HAYWOOD COUNTY 

Pratt and Lewis 35 mention a minor occurrence of vermiculite at Retreat, on Pigeon River, 6 miles southeast 
of Waynesville : 

The rocks are saprolitic garnetif erous gneisses and schists, cutting through which are many small per- 
matites accompanied by seams of vermiculite. 

In the approximate center of the Hominy Grove dunite mass, 2-1/2 miles northeast of Canton, which is ap- 
proximately 2,000 feet long and 200 feet wide with the long axis trending east and west 36 , a single vermiculite 
occurrence is found. The flakes which are less than 14 inch in diameter and exfoliate slightly when heated are 
mixed with clay. The vermiculite could not be traced, but it is apparently an interior vein which might develop 
into a small commercial body. Some kaolin present indicates a permatite intrusion. 

HENDERSON COUNTY 

About 2 miles south of Zirconia, to the north of Lake Summit, a potash feldspar pegmatite containing dis- 
seminated crystals of zircon and xanthitane has been exploited. This pegmatite has furnished the entire do- 
mestic production of commercial zircon. 37 It is intruded along the contact of fine-grained hornblende gneiss and 



30 Pratt, J. H. and Lewis, J. V., op. cit., pp. 36-38. 

31 Smith, Richard W., op. cit., p. 3. 

32 Bryson, H. J., Letter in flies of State Geologist, 1936. 

33 Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 108. 

31 Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., op. cit., p. 322. 

35 Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., op. cit., p. 256. 

36 Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 65. 

37 Pratt, J. H., Zircon, monazite and other minerals: North Carolina Geol. and Econ. Survey Bull. 25, p. 19, 1916. 



22 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

mica schist. Large books of micaceous material are found along the contact, and in fractured interior zones. 
This material appears to have been biotite originally ; it delaminates freely in the flame of a match. Along the 
south side of Lake Summit a biotite schist crops out over a maximum thickness of 50 feet and lies adjacent to 
granite. Much of the exposed schist has been altered to a vermiculite-like material and some flakes of this have 
a maximum diameter of V4 inch. This material is mixed with quartz, feldspar, and kaolin. The Lake Summit 
occurrences have none of the characteristics of those of a true vermiculite ; they are as typical books in a regular 
pattern in a pegmatite, rather than as veins, pockets, or lenses of individual interlocking crystals like those of 
chlorite, in basic magnesian rocks. The exfoliation tests indicate the material from both localities at Lake 
Summit has none of the desired qualities of vermiculite. 

IREDELL COUNTY 

Vermiculite is found at the following localities near Statesville : At Hunters, 7 miles to the west, in a dark 
green amphibolite accompanying corundum and chlorite ; at the Acme corundum mine, l-i/> miles to the west ; 
and on the Plyler farm, 7 miles to the northeast, in a mass of impure soapstone. These occurrences are as a 
minor associated mineral and none of them are considered of any commercial importance. 

JACKSON COUNTY 

ADDIE DISTRICT 

Vermiculite occurs rather widely throughout the Addie dunite mass, which extends % mile northwest and 
slightly more than 1 mile south of the Addie railroad station. This formation attains its maximum width of 
2,000 feet at a point 14 mile south of the station, and constitutes the eastern part of a series of saxonite and 
dunite intrusions which occur as an elliptical-shaped ring. This ring has a long axis of about 6 miles and a 
short axis of about 3-J^ miles (see pi. 7). 

FISHER PROPERTY 

The main body of the Addie dunite mass, the major part of which is known as the Fisher property, lies be- 
tween Scott and Ocher Creeks. Numerous veinlets of vermiculite crop out along the secondary road southeast of 
the Fisher home, especially where the road passes through the zone of relatively unaltered olivine. These ex- 
posures are made up of both first-class and low-grade vermiculite, accompanied by talc and some pegmatite ma- 
terial . A prospect trench runs S.35°E. from the road for approximately 600 feet; the southeast third of this 
trench exposes an almost continuous series of vermiculite veins. Vermiculite has been found in a number of 
scattered tests pits located on a hill about V4 mile west of the trench. These openings are between a schist in- 
clusion and the western boundary of the dunite mass, in adjoining areas of unaltered olivine and serpentinized 
dunite. Conditions are favorable for additional prospecting around the perimeter of the schist inclusion in the 
approximate center of the dunite deposit. 

Vermiculite occurs in two nickel prospect pits in this area, one of which is located about 900 feet south of 
the Fisher home and shows a 14-inch vein of large flake material extending from the surface to a depth of 20 
feet. Several veins, reaching a maximum of 2 feet in width, are to be seen in association with a pegmatite in 
the bank of a tributary flowing northwest into Scott Creek, about 200 feet north of the road. On the south bank 
of Scott Creek, opposite the railroad siding, a series of vermiculite veins is exposed over a length of 125 feet, ex- 
tending to within 50 feet of the east contact. 

OCHER CREEK DISTRICT 

The southern part of the Addie dunite mass narrows to about 400 feet in width and crops out along a steep 
bluff overlooking Ocher Creek to the southwest. A gravel road passes through the center of this section of the 
formation and follows a zone of interior vermiculite veins (see figs. 8 and 9) . These veins are exceptionally 
closely spaced ; some of them reach 2 feet in thickness. In 2600 feet of road cut, the width of vermiculite 
exposures totals 40 feet or 1.5 percent ; approximately half of this is of first-class flake size and grade. The bet- 
ter grades of vermiculite are seen only in a zone about 20 feet wide, approximately 400 feet north of the point 
where the road crosses a small tributary of Ocher Creek and turns sharply south to cross the southwest contact. 
Vermiculite is also exposed in a branch road, southwest of the main road. 



PLATE 7 



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24 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 




Fig. 8. Vekmiculite Filling of Major Joint in Serpentinized Dunite, Ociier Creek. 



CANE CREEK DISTRICT 

The Cane Creek olivine mass, 3-1/2 miles southeast of Sylva, is also a part of the Webster-Addie ring dike 
structure. Most of the vermiculite found in pits and road cuts north of the Mary Hooper home indicates that it 
was formed along a zone trending north-northeast. Ten percent of the flakes are large ; the rest are very small. 
Kyanite frequently accompanies the vermiculite along the southeast contact. There has been only a small 
amount of prospecting, however the existence of a small, possibly productive zone, is suggested. 




Fig. 9. Typical Jointing of Dunite with Vermiculite Filling, Ocher Creek 



CANEY FORK DISTRICT 

The Caney Fork District is east of the town of East Laport on the Tuckasegee River. Vermiculite prospects 
have been opened at the Cowarts, John Lovedohol, and Cowards properties (see pi. 8) . 



PLATE 8 



HAZCLWOOD 





1 1 

TUCKASEIGEE 
1175 SE 










3" 


xaney-; 

'FORK/ 
/////// 






WA 















INDEX MAP 




LOCATION OF VERMICULITE 
MINE AND PROSPECTS 
CANEY FORK DISTRICT 



N C DEPT OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 

DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 

AND 

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT 



KNOXVILLE 



4-30-42 w co i 82IG23 ro 



26 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

cowarts property 

At this property, 3-1/2 miles by road from East Laport and V4 m ile N.39 E. of Cowarts Post Office, a large 
pyroxenite dike trends in a general east-west direction. It is 3,400 feet long and ranges in width from 800 feet 
on the east to a narrow belt hardly 100 feet wide on the west. The dike is apparently intruded into a horn- 
blende gneiss which is surrounded by mica schist. 

There are eight vermiculite prospects, in a general north-south line approximately 600 feet from the east 
end of the pyroxenite formation. These openings have explored interior zones and the contacts both with the 
gneiss and the schist. It is significant that each prospect working encountered a pegmatite of some shape or 
form, in association with the vermiculite. 

The principal opening is about 400 feet east of, and about 100 feet vertically above, Caney Fork ; it consists 
of an open cut 50 feet long. This cut runs N.82°E. to the portal of a 50-foot drift which follows a 3-foot vein 
of first-class vermiculite. A branch drift to the right turns off at a small angle at a point 15 feet from the 
portal, and roughly parallels the main drift. Vermiculite is exposed in the back and sides of both drifts, not 
continuously but with the usual admixtures of impurities. A section of the open cut taken over the drift at its 
portal shows the 3-foot vein (see fig. 10). 

About 340 feet northeast from the main working in the northern contact zone, an open cut exposes a 5-foot 
vein of first-class vermiculite with a 7-foot vein of similar material joining it at right angles. About 50 percent 
of the cut face shows high-grade material. Approximately 140 feet west of this opening, also in the northern 
contact zone, a 100-foot trench trends N.50°W. and exposes a 10-foot vermiculite zone containing material of 
various sizes and grades ; about 50 percent of this is of good and intermediate quality. 

At the western end of the dike an old corundum drift runs S.70°E. Its portal is in gneiss, but further in, 
according to local reports, it passes through the contact. Several vermiculite veins are cut by a 60-foot crosscut 
running north from this drift. A 30-foot shaft at the face of the crosscut encounters a 2-1/2 foot vein. An ex- 
amination of the dump shows much fine and schistose vermiculite, and pegmatite material. A series of old pits 
northeast of the drift mouth shows small veins of schistose vermiculite and some indications of vermiculite are 
found in the pyroxenite area west of the main dike. 

This property shows considerable promise of a potentially important production, judging by the large 
amount of comparatively high-grade material exposed. The main opening and the two along the northern con- 
tact zone appear the most favorable for further development work and additional prospecting along all contacts 
appears warranted. 

JOHN LOVEDOHOL PROPERTY 

This property is approximately 2-Vi miles by road southeast of the Cowarts property and 11/2 miles east 
of the Caney Fork School. Prospect cuts have been put down and a structure similar to that at Cowarts is 
indicated. In one of the cuts, 75 feet long and 8 feet deep, vermiculite is exposed over its entire length. On 
the southeast side of this cut several veins of relatively high-grade material are seen ; some of these are 2 
feet wide and are adjacent to weathered pyroxenite on both sides. Some clay impurities are present in the 
vermiculite veins, but the clay would not be expected at greater depths. A vermiculite schist, associated 
with small pegmatites, is exposed in the floor of the cut. An inspection of a stockpile indicates an inter- 
mediate grade vermiculite, the flakes of which average 3/16 inch in diameter. 

COWARDS PROPERTY 

This area is l-i/i miles by road east of the John Lovedohol property and on the headwaters of John's 
Creek ; it is not to be confused with the Cowarts property about 4 miles to the west. The vermiculite occur- 
rence is best exposed in a pit 4,000 feet northeast of Polly Wandin Gap, on a hill northeast of John's Creek, 300 
feet northwest of Cowards Cemetery. This 30-foot pit exposes an alternating series of weathered pyroxenite 
and masses of vermiculite, 4x6 feet. The pyroxenite dike is 30 feet wide at this point and dips 20° NW. The 
vermiculite consists of masses of crystals, preserving the original structure of the pyroxenite joint blocks ; each 
crystal is thus a pseudomorph after pyroxene. 



The Vermiculite Deposits op North Carolina 



27 



Most of the exposed vermiculite is of an intermediate grade and size ; any production will contain an excess 
of fines due to the disintegration of interlocking crystals upon crushing. Prospecting appears warranted just 
south of Cowards Cemetery where relatively fresh pyroxenite crops out. 

OTHER LOCALITIES 

About 2 miles south of Sylva vermiculite occurs at several places in the Webster peridotite. This peridotite 
is the largest of the Webster- Addie series ; 38 it is crescent shaped and has a length of 2-% miles and a max- 
imum width of 1,800 feet. It is very well known because of the early experiments with associated nickel 
silicates. 39 




Fig. 10. Vermiculite Vein Over Drift Portal, Cowauts Mine. 



Indications are that the amount of vermiculite in this area is quite small in comparison with the other prop- 
erties studied in detail, although prospecting, at least along the contacts, has not been widely done. It also ap- 
pears that the vermiculite occurring in association with the nickel silicates, garnierite and genthite, 40 might be 
more important for its nickel content than for its usual properties. 



3S Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 91. 

30 Pawel, G. W., Nickel in North Carolina: Eng. & Min. Jour., vol. 140, pp. 35-38, Oct. 1939. 

40 Ross, C S., Shannon, E. V., and Gonyer, F. A., Origin of nickel silicates at Webster, N. 0„ Econ. Geol,, vol. 23, pp. 528-45, 
1928. 



28 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

MACON COUNTY 

ELLIJAY DISTRICT 

AMMONS property 

The Ammons property is in the western portion of the Moore's Knob dunite formation on the headwaters of 
Ellijay Creek, % mile northeast of Ellijay and about i/ 2 rnile northeast of Moore's Knob (see pi. 9). This prop- 
erty was operated by the Cary Mineral Company between 1935 and 1941. Development work includes a 
shaft, drifts, and several open cuts (see pi. 10) . The underground development work has a total length of over 
1,100 feet. The vermiculite encountered in the workings has been mostly along interior structural weaknesses 
in the serpentinized dunite, as veins, pockets, and lenses. 

The principal vermiculite production from the Ammons property has been from the shaft and the drifts 
in the central part of the formation. This shaft was caved at the time of the examination but it was reported 
to have been 96 feet deep with drifts at two levels. The drifts were irregular in both direction and grade, as an 
attempt had been made to follow the zones of vermiculite. These workings exposed veins of vermiculite as 
much as 15 feet wide and perhaps 125 feet long. Several vermiculite "pockets" were cut and these consisted of 
commercial grade material sometimes containing as high as 300 tons per "pocket". The greater part of the 
vermiculite was recovered by mining along the drift and in a limited amount of stoping. However, in no case was 
there a complete recovery of any of these "pockets", because of the inability to hold the heavy ground for suf- 
ficient time to remove the vermiculite. 

The western contact area of the Ammons property has not been adequately prospected. A few short drifts 
and shallow pits show the presence of vermiculite in this area. Especially the contact between the dunite for- 
mation and the mica schist along the northwest area should be prospected. 

Much associated pegmatite material is visible in most vermiculite veins exposed by the workings. At many 
points small lenses of actinolite are completely surrounded by vermiculite. Nickel silicate minerals are asso- 
ciated with a few of the vermiculite zones. 



Angel property 

The Angel property, about 600 feet east of the Ammons mine, has been in intermittent production since 
1935 ; it has been operated by Minerals, Incorporated, of Franklin, and its successor company. The original de- 
velopment was by shafts and drifts in search of corundum, and was done about 1890. 

The geology of the Angel property is similar to that of the Ammons and, in fact, both properties are within 
the Moore's Knob dunite mass. The vermiculite production from this property has been from shafts, drifts, 
and open cuts (see pis. 11 and 12). Open cut mining has been rather extensively employed here and has yielded 
the greater part of the production. The open cuts are excavated along interior vermiculite veins and the work 
is continued in depth until the vermiculite pinches out or the walls of the cut become too difficult to hold. Some 
of the cuts have reached a depth of 35 feet. 

Some of the underground workings at the Angel property have exposed inclusions of mica schist and gneiss 
within the dunite formation. In the western part of this property much excellent vermiculite was found around 
these inclusions. 

The eastern contact zone of this formation has not been prospected. This should be done because verm- 
iculite is found in the surface soil there. Minerals associated with the vermiculite veins on the Angel property 
include brownish actinolite, green chlorite, and locally, considerable garnierite and genthite. 

Recent drifting, a short distance southwest of the most southwestern openings, has encountered a 5- 
foot vein of vermiculite along the wall of a schist inclusion, and at an elevation below that of the other work- 
ings. This inclusion may prove to be an extension of the one found in the large open cut (No. 11) and the ad- 
jacent drift, about 400 feet to the northeast (see pi. 11). If this is true, an important mineralization may occur 
along this contact. 



PLATE 9 







PLATE 10 




Serp 

MVmatr-C. 



2550 



2500 



2450 



2400 



2350 



2300 




ZT 



CUT N 



UD CUT M 



DRIFT I 

DRIFT A 2 



GEOLOGIC MAP 

AMMONS VERMICULITE MINE 

MACON COUNTY, NC 



N C DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION S. DEVELOPMENT 

DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 

AND 

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT 



KNOXVILLE j 3-7-42 |w |co| I |82IG7rO 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 31 

An interesting new development by the operator of this property consists of some experimental work on 
chlorite found there. Large crystals, definitely identified as that mineral, exfoliate at high temperatures and 
yield a light weight, tough, whitish product. 

MCGUIRE PROPERTY 

This property is about i/ 2 m ^ e southwest of Ellijay Post Office and about 1,000 feet east of Ellijay Creek 
(see pi. 9). The vermiculite is associated with a very sound dunite mass about 1,000 feet long. 

The vermiculite production from this property has been less than that of either the Ammons or the Angel. 
The most recent production has been from two drifts driven from the northern slope of a hill. A small quan- 
tity has been mined from open cuts near the crest of this hill. The vermiculite veins on this property seldom 
exceed 4 or 5 feet in width. Most of the veins trend east and west, perpendicular to the most common direction 
of those in the Ellijay district. The material from the McGuire property is pale green as contrasted with the 
brown material from the neighboring ones. This greenish vermiculite, upon exfoliation, weighs about 6 pounds 
per cubic foot, which is much below the average for the Ellijay district. The contacts have not been explored 
extensively ; this should be done, especially on the southeast side. 

BUD MlNCEY MINE 

This property, opened as a corundum operation about 1900, is on the south side of Berry Prong of Ellijay 
Creek and about 800 feet east of Ellijay Post Office. The principal workings then consisted of a 125-foot shaft, 
a 122-foot drift, and several open cuts. All of these workings encountered vermiculite. In 1941 Minerals, In- 
corporated, began producing vermiculite from the property ; in 1944 a new shaft was sunk in the bottom of the 
large open cut to prospect old corundum showings. 

The principal vermiculite production has been from a new open cut about midway between the old corun- 
dum shaft and the creek, which followed a persistent, clean vermiculite vein. The walls of the cut are relatively 
sound dunite, which occassionally had to be held in place by stulls. This vermiculite vein ranges from 18 inches 
to a maximum of 10 feet in width ; some parts of it have been worked to a depth of 40 feet. To date, the verm- 
iculite production of this mine has consisted of a relatively small flake variety, best suited for plaster or con- 
crete use. The property holds promise of becoming a producer of some importance, especially when the contacts 
are explored. 

ELLIJAY CREEK PROSPECT 

This prospect is about V2 m ^ e northwest of Ellijay Post Office and 2,000 feet west of Ellijay Church, on 
the bank of Ellijay Creek just upstream from the mouth of Berry Prong. 

This occurrence is in one of the smallest masses of dunite in the Ellijay district. The mass has a length of 
about- 500 feet and a maximum width of approximately 200 feet. Its crest lies about 40 feet above Ellijay Creek. 

Several small prospects have opened up the formation; most of these encountered small pockets of ex- 
cellent vermiculite. All of these pockets are less than 3 feet wide. The vermiculite is brown in color, relatively 
free from clay and other impurities, and the flake size is sufficiently large to be used for house fill. 

The principal production, by the Cary Mineral Company, was from two small open cuts, near the north- 
eastern contact, both of which are about 30 to 60 feet long. The production from this deposit would necessarily 
have to be small because of its location, adjacent to Ellijay Creek, which would cause a water problem in mining 
below the creek level. 

GNEISS DISTRICT 
CORUNDUM HILL DEPOSIT 

The Corundum Hill mine is 6 miles southeast of Franklin and 1-V4 miles northeast of Gneiss (see pi. 13). 
The dunite mass there was extensively exploited for corundum prior to 1910. The first vermiculite production in 
North Carolina came from this locality in 1933, by Philip S. Hoyt. Since that date the property has been ex- 
ploited intermittently by various operators. Corundum Hill has produced perhaps one-half of the vermiculite 
shipped from the Franklin area. 



PLATE 11 



/ anthophyllite 
stringer in tunnel^ 
15' 'V. schist in open cuf^ 



Steatized olivine 
Mi & Talc fitting 
fractures 




20 zone high 
in picket silicates 

DRIFT 14 



Open cut above 
\ drift in olivine 
highly fractured 
talc & anthophyllite 
filling fractures. 



OPEN CUT 12 

H5 



Serp 't 'd Dunite in 
open cut for new 
drift to cut vein_ 
of open cut IB. 




Cuts in vermiculife. Vein 
average 2?'. Occurs as 
lens like veins I ~ 5' wide. 
Follows fault zone. 



Dunite, broken 8 jointed 
Joints contain chlorite, 
vermicultte, chalcedony, 
& bronzite 




Old shaft reported 
60 ' deep ^ 



accompamng 
section (PI 12) 



OPEN CUT a 



Reported drift following talcose 
mat 'I with good Iter. Actinoliie y c>- 
present, § talc -, r— — __ --''' «<■* 



yermiculife, Schistose with talc (2") 



Serpentmized Dunite with 
chalcedony filling fractures 
- Vermiculife In floor 



IB "good Ver 




OPEN CUT E 




Entire area fractured and 
jointed olivine with mixture 

talc, chalcedony <$ verm 
joints filled with chalcedony 

5"V 




Old drift reported as following \ 
V showing Bj - 4 wide 



DRIFT 5 



OPEN CUT B 




In 5 yermiculite zone 



DRIFT C _ 
Soaps tone — , 



Hornblende gneiss 
with pockets of 
yermiculite £ soap- 
stone inclusions 



DRIFT D 

Reported 200' long and 
cutting vermiculite of 
Drift C present in 3 veins 



J'ver/y - 

zone/ / 90 shaft reported 

3' vein- open cut 



Garnet Muscovite Schist with 
small Ft V Also small pegmatites 
parallel to schistosity 



Scale 30 



GEOLOGIC MAP 

ANGEL VERMICULITE MINE 

MACON COUNTY, N.C. 



N C -DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 

DIVISION OF MINERAL RESOURCES 

AND 

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT 



5-26-42 W CO I 



82IK3IR0 



PLATE 12 





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34 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

The principal production has been from open cuts along the northwest contact of the dunite formation with 
the enclosing gneiss. This contact vein is persistent both along the strike and dip. It has been worked 
around the periphery of the dunite for a distance of about 400 feet. At several places mining reached a maxi- 
mum depth of 100 feet. At two points on this vein the clean vermiculite has a width slightly in excess of 20 
feet. The dunite wall of this vein was supported with considerable difficulty, even with heavy square sets. 

There are two important areas at the Corundum Hill deposit that have not been prospected for vermiculite. 
These are the northeastern contact zone and the border of the mica schist inclusion near the northwest side of the 
formation. It is reported that old corundum workings reached a depth of 300 feet and that good-quality verm- 
iculite was found at this depth. The Corundum Hill vermiculite usually consists of extremely large flakes, many 
of which reach a diameter of 5 or 6 inches, a most unusual size for North Carolina vermiculite. This material is 
said to require a higher exfoliation temperature than average vermiculite. 

Salem School and pine Grove School prospects 

These prospects are in a long dike of amphibolized dunite which may be traced for 2 miles, from the head- 
waters of a tributary of Crows Branch to the south border of the Corbin Knob Quadrangle (167-NE) ; it crosses 
Highway 64 and the Cullasaja River 1,000 feet northwest of Walnut Creek Road (see pi. 13) . 

The Salem School prospect is about 1,600 feet N.23°E. of Salem School. At this point the host rock might 
be described as a dunite-soapstone-chlorite mass and the accessory vermiculite has been explored by several pits 
and an old drift. One of these pits exposes first-class vermiculite. The size of this pit and the amount of verm- 
iculite in the dump indicate that the vein must have been 3 or 4 feet wide. The vermiculite flakes range in diam- 
eter from 1/16 inch for a schistose variety to 1-1/2 inches. The drift has been driven along the contact of 
the gneiss country rock on the west and the soapstone on the east, exposing an 8-inch vein immediately adjacent 
to the soapstone and separated from a 3-inch vein by a thin lens of talc. This vermiculite is second grade and 
the crystals range from 1/16 inch to 2 inches in diameter. The banding of the country rock strikes N.15°W. 
and dips 61°W. ; it is parallel to the vermiculite veins and an 8-inch pegmatite which lies in the soapstone, about 
6 feet from the contact. 

The Pine Grove School prospect is V2 rnile southwest of the schoolhouse and % mile east of Dill's Knob. 
The formation is exposed over a width of about 50 feet by an erosion gully, at a point about 300 feet west of a 
secondary road. Vermiculite is found in the dump of an old corundum opening, between the erosion gully and 
the road ; some of the flakes are of 1-inch diameter, however most of it is schistose material. 

Vermiculite float is observed at a number of points along the dike and the material in place is exposed in 
road cuts. Additional exploration is needed to determine the quality and the quantity of the material. It is 
possible that prospecting along the contacts will prove up some vermiculite. 

Other localities 

Charles Mincey Place — A narrow dunite mass occurs 2,200 feet southeast of the Charles Mincey home and 
1 mile south of Ellijay School (see pi. 9) . A prospect pit in the dunite-gneiss contact on the top of the ridge to 
the west shows five 1/0-inch to 2-inch vermiculite stringers of low-grade material. To the northeast an interior 
zone of vermiculite strikes N.60°E. and is exposed by several open cuts and a 25-foot drift, along a distance 
of 180 feet from the crest of the ridge to the southwest, almost to the end of the formation. This zone is made 
up of several 5- to 10-inch veinlets, largely surrounded by chlorite, and follows a single large joint in the 
dunite. 

Jake Henry Place — The above-mentioned dunite mass may be traced to the east and appears, together with 
another belt which extends from the south, on the Jake Henry Place about 4,000 feet north of Cedar Knob. 
About 50 feet north of a small stream, a contact zone of brown, resinous, fine-flake vermiculite and vermiculite 
schist is exposed, in contact with mica schist. The zone is made up of two veinlets, 12 and 8 inches wide. About 
400 feet northwest of this exposure, anthophyllite has been mined from a 30-foot cut, 8 feet deep, and 
a 6-inch stringer of good vermiculite is exposed. Between this contact zone and the top of the ridge to the west, 
there are about 15 pits of variable size and shape. These have been sunk in what appears to be an inclusion of 
weathered biotite schist in the dunite mass. This material decrepitates, but does not exfoliate as does a true 
vermiculite. 



PLATE 13 




36 The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 

Higdon Mountain — Several dikes of altered dunite occur around Rough Knob on the eastern part of Hig- 
don Mountain (see pis. 9 and 13). These dikes average about 30 feet wide and 300 to 400 feet long. At many 
points along the contacts, much prospecting for corundum has been done. The dumps show vermiculite, but 
most of it is second grade. The formation is so badly fractured that is is doubtful if much good vermiculite 
could be taken from this area. 

Vance Jennings Place — This prospect lies in the west-central rectangle of the Glenville Quadrangle (176- 
NW) , about 1/2 mile east of the Angel property and the same distance south of Little Rocky Mountain. There 
are several drifts and pits in a soapstone mass about V4 mile north of the Jennings home. The best showing of 
vermiculite is in a drift running N.16°W. for 30 feet, thence N.82°W. for 39 feet, and cutting a highly faulted 
contact zone made up essentially of gneiss, but with three fault blocks of talc exposed. Numerous small peg- 
matites have impregnated the fault zone and a series of veinlets and small pockets of vermiculite up to 2 
inches in width cut the talc blocks. Very fine flake disseminated vermiculite constitutes about 5 percent of 
the gneiss. All the vermiculite in this drift is of a good grade. The other openings show only small vermi- 
culite exposures. The commercial possibilities of this property appear doubtful. 

Adams Place — This prospect is about 2,300 feet north of Little Rocky Mountain and just west of Little 
Salt Rock Cove, near the northwestern border of the Glenville Quadrangle (176-NW). A lens of altered dunite 
is found there ; it has a length of 1,900 feet in a north-south direction and the width ranges from 400 feet in 
the center to 200 feet on the ends. The country rock is biotite schist ; the dunite has been highly steatitized 
and is accompanied by highly crinkled and folded schistose talc. The north contact has been partly explored by 
a short drift which exposes 18 inches of low grade, clayey vermiculite at a point six feet from the mouth; the 
drift is caved but apparently runs south for about 18 feet, and exposes boulders of decomposed olivine with 
narrow 1-inch stringers of vermiculite surrounded by anthophyllite. Several other openings expose minor show- 
ings, but on the whole the property does not appear to merit extensive prospecting. 

Norton Property — The Norton dunite occurs 14 miles south of Franklin, on the north side of Commis- 
sioners Creek and 1 miles west of the Tullulah Falls Railroad. There are seven vermiculite prospect pits along 
the east contact. Six of these expose only a weathered biotite, stained a golden brown, and the seventh cuts a 6- 
inch vein of vermiculite-like material, with a large pegmatite as the hanging wall and weathered soapstone as 
the footwall. A small quartz vein, in the middle of this material, indicates that it was probably originally bio- 
tite around quartz and was formed when the pegmatite came up, and later weathered. It is possible that verm- 
iculite in some quantity might be found at this property. The dunite mass contains a little olivine ; it is com- 
posed mostly of anthophyllite and chlorite, which in places might have weathered to vermiculite. 



MADISON COUNTY 

The belt of peridotites that passes through Democrat, Buncombe County, crosses the extreme corner of 
Madison County. The Holcombe Branch dunite mass is IV2 miles north of Democrat, on both sides of Holcomb 
Branch. Hunter 41 , describes the formation as very irregular in outline; the maximum length and width are 
3,000 and 1,500 feet, respectively. The formation is somewhat broken up by faults and it contains several 
schist inclusions. While the occurrences of commercial vermiculite is not indicated, the presence of chlorite in 
joints is definitely known and some vermiculite may be found along the contacts and particularly along those 
adjacent to the schist inclusions. Pratt and Lewis 42 report that corundum was mined at the old Carter mine 
on Holcombe Branch ; it was found in an interior vein, enclosed by chlorite and vermiculite. Two and one-half 
miles northeast of the Carter mine, 2 miles above the mouth of Terry Creek, is a massive, dark green to 
almost black serpentine with some soapstone and chlorite in an outcrop about 200 feet. Peridotites occur in 
several other parts of Madison County, but there is no particular reason to consider them as potential verm- 
iculite prospects. 



11 Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 58. 

12 Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., op. cit., p. 258. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 37 

MITCHELL COUNTY 

There are numerous outcrops of peridotite and enstatite rocks in this county, but reports indicate very little 
associated vermiculite. The Bakersville dunite mass, on White Oak Creek 1 mile southeast of Bakersville, has 
been described by Hunter. 43 Overburden obscures a part of the formation, but it appears to be about 300 
feet long and 60 feet wide. The most unique feature of this deposit is the presence of chrysotile asbestos as 
seams up to 6 inches thick and as individual fibers and clusters of fibers penetrating individual olivine grains. 

bear Creek 

The vermiculite-like material on the Pipkins property, at the headwaters of Little Bear Creek and approx- 
imately 1/2 mile west of Little Bald Mountain (209NE), constitutes a unique occurrence. An open cut runs S. 
68°E. into a pegmatite for 50 feet and then turns to the southwest for 30 feet. The vermiculite-like material, 
which is 3. feet thick with extensions running downward at right angles, strikes N.16°E. and dips 28°W. Blocks 
of intergrown crystals 2 feet or more in diameter can be found in the sides of the cut. Faulting is quite pro- 
nounced throughout the entire exposure and the seam ends with a fault plane. The entire pegmatite has been 
injected into a hornblende gneiss although the capping at the cut entrance is a garnet-biotite schist. The ma- 
terial varies in color from black to light golden and grades from a hard, "harsh" biotite into a smooth, soft 
vermiculite-like mineral. The occurrence is as books, intergrown into the pegmatite with feldspar around the 
individual books. 

One-fourth mile S.32°W. of this opening, on the Pitman Property, another cut runs S.30°E. for about 100 
feet into the side of the mountain, and reaches a depth of about 25 feet. Feldspar is the principal mineral ex- 
posed and is highly kaolinized. In the southeast end of the cut a vermiculite-like material, somewhat similar to 
that found at the other opening, is exposed. 

These occurrences are the only ones seen in the field which even suggest that biotite might have been the 
ancestor of vermiculite ; this is not conclusive since the material could hardly be classed as a true vermiculite. 
It is not, however, the usual biotite or iron-stained muscovite, since upon heating it does not merely delaminate, 
but really exfoliates. Field tests indicated this to be the case and laboratory tests showed a sample from the 
Pitman property to be one of the best. The only explanation lies in the fact that faulting in the area has pro- 
vided ready access for what might be called "vermiculizing" solutions from a nearby altered peridotite which 
is known to occur. 

TRANSYLVANIA-JACKSON COUNTIES 

CANADA-SAPPHIRE DISTRICT 

This district is in the southeast part of Jackson County and adjacent Transylvania County east of Sapphire 
and between Horsepasture River on the south and Toxaway River on the north (see pi. 14). There has been 
practically no vermiculite exploitation in the district, although it was once an important center of corundum 
mining. The Canada area lies near the headwaters of Tuckasegee River (East Fork), on partially improved 
State Highway 281, approximately 12 miles from Tuckasegee. The Sapphire area is adjacent to Highway 64, 
between Rosman and Cashiers. Both areas have been described in detail by Pratt and Lewis. 44 The 1941 
field work there consisted only of a brief reconnaissance to visit localities where some activity had been re- 
ported and to study the general possibilities of the district. 

In the northwest rectangle of the Lake Toxaway Quadrangle (185-NW) about 3,000 feet south of Wolf 
Creek Church, several vermiculite zones are exposed in a folded dunite dike. One of these, in the road cut 300 
feet east of Wolf Creek Post Office, consists of a 2V->-foot contact vein of low grade, small flake, schistose ma- 
terial. Near a small graveyard, a 15-foot contact zone of good grade vermiculite associated with talc is exposed, 
consisting of a 7-foot vein and two smaller ones. Most of the vermiculite is Vi inch in diameter and consider- 
able clay impurities are present, probably resulting from the weathering of near-by granite. This condition 
should not continue at depth. In this vicinity dunite and enstatalite (enstatite rock) occur in several places, 
particularly near the mouth of Tennessee Creek. At the old Whitewater mine, 5 miles southwest of Sapphire, 



13 Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 57. 

"Pratt, J. H., and Lewis, J. V., op. cit. pp. 42-47; 252-256. 



PLATE 14 



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The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 39 

in an oval outcrop of peridotite about 100 feet wide, fine scaly vermiculite occures along the joints and in con- 
tacts with gneiss. Soapstone, probably representing similar rocks, occurs on the southern slopes of Terrapin 
Mountain, 2 miles west of the Whitewater mine. A small mass of peridotite is reported on the north end of 
Whiteside Mountain, near Devils Courthouse. 

The accompanying map (pi. 14) shows the distribution of peridotites near Sapphire. Vermiculite was en- 
countered in association with corundum in many of these peridotites. The most southerly outcrop is at the old 
Bad Creek mine, 1 mile south of Sapphire. Here a lenticular mass, 50 by 200 feet, consists chiefly of enstatalite, 
but in places passes into dunite. The old Socrates mine is located V2 m ^ e northeast of the Bad Creek, where a 
lens of enstatalite, about 250 by 900 feet, occurs. At the northeast end of the outcrop the gneiss dips 40° SE., 
under the pyroxenite. One or two feet of the gneiss at the contact are thickly impregnated with a fine, scaly 
vermiculite. Between this and the pyroxenite is a sheet of similar vermiculite about 4 inches thick with a few 
inches of pulverant and scaly talc, and some chlorite next to the pyroxenite. 

Corundum was produced from these old mines and asbestos as well, from the Rattlesnake, Brockton, Sap- 
phire and Burnt Rock. The latter property is on Highway 64 and a large amount of vermiculite is to be seen 
in the old dump and in the caved mouth of the old portal. At the Brockton mine vermiculite gangue was rather 
widespread in the early corundum mining. Other localities in this area where peridotite rocks occur include : 
southeast of Great Hogback Mountain ; 3 or 4 miles east of Sapphire, where several dunite masses occur ; 
about 15 miles northeast of Great Hogback Mountain, where a dozen small outcrops of saxonite and enstatalite 
are found ; 1 mile east of Buck Mountain and 4 miles due south of Sapphire where a mass of dunite 150 feet 
wide outcrops in a road cut ; and, 5 miles northwest of Sapphire and V2 mile north of Sheep Cliff Mountain, 
where large outcrops of dunite occur. It is probable that carefully planned prospecting in these areas would 
locate a considerable tonnage of vermiculite. In many cases, however, the location would not be readily ac- 
cessible and delivery to main highways would be costly. 

Upper Wolf Creek 

Some exploration for vermiculite, consisting of three shallow pits sunk in a biotite schist member of the 
Carolina gneiss, is noted on Wolf Creek, 3,000 feet above the mouth of Cold Creek, and % mile northeast of 
Charley Knob, in the southwest rectangle of the Sam Knob Quadrangle (164-SW) . Due to the entire absence of 
any basic rocks in this vicinity, the vermiculite-like material exposed can hardly be considered as a true verm- 
iculite, although it does bear a certain resemblance. 

YANCEY COUNTY 

While there has been no development for vermiculite in Yancey County, the possibility of the existence of 
commercial vermiculite is suggested by the occurrence of several large peridotite masses and the active opera- 
tion of an olivine quarry. The Toecane area, about 12 miles long and 8 miles wide, is about 30 miles northeast of 
Asheville and extends from the center of Yancey County to a short distance beyond Bakersville. This area is 
described by Hunter 45 as being characterized by fine-grained dunites and saxonites that have a distinctive 
yellow color on the weathered surface. 

The largest and most outstanding peridotite in the Toecane area is at Day Book, about 3 miles north of 
Burnsville, on Mine Fork of Jack's Creek. This deposit is about 2,000 feet long and 600 feet wide and outcrops 
as hills on both sides of Mine Fork. Much of the outer portion hes been altered by hydrothermal solutions, while 
the relatively unaltered material occurs as a lens-shaped zone near the center of the formation. Near the faults 
and larger joints in the deposit the olivine shows signs of chloritization. An interior vermiculite zone, exposed 
on the west side of the quarry operated there, is 2 to 3 feet wide. Anthophyllite is exposed along the northwest 
contact. The vermiculite is schistose, of a resinous luster ; it breaks down into very fine flakes and is accom- 
panied by talc and actinolite. Some vermiculite is also exposed on the east side of the quarry but it is less pro- 
nounced than on the west. The southwest contact offers the possibility of vermiculite, more so than does 
the northwest one where the dunite is in contact with a granite mass. 



15 Hunter, C. E., op. cit., p. 48. 



APPENDIX 

COMPILATION OF DATA OF VERMICULITE EXFOLIATION TESTS 

AND CHEMICAL ANALYSES 

Thirty samples of vermiculite, taken from western North Carolina deposits by the field geologists during 
the survey, were sent to the Authority's Minerals Testing Laboratory at Norris, Tennessee. The tests were 
conducted by Mr. F. A. W. Davis, who had carried out previous research on vermiculite. 40 In this Appendix is 
given a description of the procedure used and observations made as a result of the tests. The locations from 
which the samples were taken, the results of the screen analyses and exfoliation tests, and chemical analyses are 
given in tabular form following the subject matter. 

PROCEDURE 

After prolonged air drying, the crude samples were quartered down for mechanical analyses. Material 
from each crude sample was sized by screening. Mechanical analyses were run on all the crude sizings ex- 
foliated. These analyses serve to indicate the degree of disintegration of the various sizings during exfoliation. 

Apparent density of Crude Ore 

The apparent density of each crude sizing was determined by placing a pasteboard carton, having a capacity 
of 482 cubic centimeters, in a sieve pan mounted on the electric vibrator. This carton was filled with sized ma- 
terial, adding additional sizings from time to time until vibrated to refusal, that is, until constant volume is ob- 
tained. The material in the carton was then weighed in grams and converted to pounds per cubic foot. 

Exfoliation 

For exfoliation a Hoskins electric muffle furnace was heated to its maximum temperature (900° C). A 
portion of one sizing was then spread thinly over the bottom of a sheet iron pan made to fit easily within the 
muffle. The pan, which was attached to a long flat iron handle, was slid rapidly into the muffle and the door of 
the furnace closed. The temperature leveled off, ranging from 640° to 740° C. during each charging. Charging 
of the pan was repeated until the entire amount of the sizing contained in the carton has been through the 
furnace. 

The correct time period for complete exfoliation was determined. In most of the sizings the time period for 
exfoliation varied from 30 to 45 seconds; however, some required only 20 seconds while others required at 
least 60 seconds. 

Apparent density of exfoliated vermiculite 

During the heating process the material expands or exfoliates, thereby changing the apparent density. All 
of the expanded material derived from a carton of crude sizing was vibrated to constant volume, using the 
same carton. The apparent density of that particular sizing in grams per cubic centimeter was converted to 
pounds per cubic foot. Furthermore, the enlarged volume, divided by the original volume of the crude sizing 
in the carton, gives the actual number of times the original volume had increased due to exfoliation. 

OBSERVATIONS 

Impurities noted were talc, serpentine, feldspar, silica, clay, and iron oxide. Some of the sizings contained 
sufficient gangue to more or less smother the exfoliation of the good vermiculite. Extremely weathered crude 
vermiculite exfoliates very little. The presence of impurities or any vermiculite which does not exfoliate, al- 
though not in sufficient quantities to hinder exfoliation, increases the apparent density after exfoliation. The 



46 Davis, F. A. W., and Johnson, M., Research work on North Carolina vermiculite: Tennessee Valley Auth. Div. Geology Bull. 5, 
pp. 11-21, December 1936. 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



41 



minus 60 crude ore should be wasted as too high in clay, iron oxide, and fine gangue materials. To get the lowest 
apparent density after exfoliation, removal of the gangue either before, during, or after exfoliation would be 
necessary for about 60 percent of the crude samples tested. 

Tests on the platy type of ore indicated better bulking values than the so-called lump type. The lump type 
is probably derived from books of the platy type irregularly weathered around the edges. During exfoliation 
the smaller cross-sections of each lump are detached from it, causing disintegration. 

It was not possible to exfoliate at temperatures above 740° C. with the equipment and method used. It 
might be possible, however, that temperatures up to 900° C. might increase the degree of exfoliation somewhat 
in some of the samples. 

Of the crude sizings, 60 percent had less than 60 percent of the particles retained on plus 10 mesh, which is 
a low yield for "Housefill." Care in processing the crude material is very important in order to cut down on 
the finer sizes. Crude ore as it comes from the mine should be gently dried at 110° C. and then fed to a vib- 
rating screen to take out the minus V2 mesh. The oversize should then be accumulated and disintegrated to 
yield as much minus V2 P ms 4, minus 4 plus 10 mesh as possible. 

All the exfoliated material was found to be quite friable and would break down unless handled carefully. It 
is necessary therefore to cut down on the number of times the exfoliated material is handled, both in process- 
ing and when used, especially the minus !/2 plus 4 and minus 4 plus 10 mesh in "Housefill." 

It would seem this disintegration due to handling might be obviated by transporting the sized crude ore to 
the site of the job and exfoliating it there. A portable furnace for the proper exfoliation of the material would 
have to be designed. Yield could also be increased if some method could be found for forming the finer ex- 
foliated material into clusters, and strengthening the particles, thereby permitting them also to be used as 
housefill. 

SAMPLES TESTED 

Below is an identification of the samples listed in Tables I and II. 



Sample 
No. 
1 
2 
3 
4 



Addie No. 
Addie No. 
Addie No. 



Location 

1 (Ocher Creek) 

2 (Ocher Creek) 

3 (Ocher Creek) 



Addie No. 4 (Ocher Creek) 



5 Addie No. 5 (Fisher) 

6 Addie No. 6 (Fisher) 

7 Addie No. 7 (Fisher) 

8 Ammons Mine 

9 Angel Property 

10 Angel Tunnel No. 13 

11 Bear Creek No. 1 

12 Bear Creek No. 2 

13 Cane Creek No. 1 

14 Cane Creek No. 2 

15 Coggins No. 1 Bee Tree 

16 Coggins No. 2 

17 Cowards Property 

18 Cowarts No. 1 

19 Cowarts No. 2 

20 Cowarts No. 3 



Description 
Taken over a 20- foot zone about 400 feet from branch. 
From zone similar to Sample No. 1, located 180 feet to the northwest. 
From southwest contact vein. 

Composite of two five-foot zones of good vermiculite and a two-foot zone of 
schistose material, occurring just north of the intersection of Ocher Creek 
road with the east-west one. 

Composite of clayey material exposed in two pits south of the propect trench. 
From exposure of higher grade material at the end of the trench. 
Composite of lower grade material cut 100 feet to the northwest by the trench 
and of two test pits to the east. 
Run-of-mine vermiculite from screening plant bin. 
From material being mined from open cut 12. 
Schist bearing small flakes of vermiculite as exposed in drift 13. 
From Pipkins Place. 
From Pitman Place. 

Composite of different vermiculite zones exposed in a test trench northwest 
of the Hooper home. 

Composite containing 80 percent from test pit north of Hooper home and re- 
mainder from outcrops in that area and at the base of the hill. 
Run-of-mine material from No. 1 pit. 

Stock-pile of heavy white-centered material from No. 3 pit. 
From pit at Cowards prospect. 

Largest size of screened vermiculite shipped from the plant at Cowarts. 
Smallest size of screened vermiculite shipped from the plant at Cowarts. 
Run-of -mine material from the crude bin at Cowarts. 



42 



The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



Sample 
No. Location 

21 Day Book 

22 Ellijay Creek 

23 Lake Summit No. 1 

24 Lake Summit No. 2 

25 Lovedohol Property 

26 McGuire Property 

27 Bud Mincey Mine 

28 Anderson Place — Shooting 

Creek 

29 Rogers Place — Shooting Creek 

30 Wolf Creek 



Description 
Vermiculite exposed west of Day Book olivine quarry. 
Of sacked material piled near the old workings at the property. 
Micaceous material occurring with the kaolinized feldspar at the exposure 200 
feet vertically above the lake. 

Small flake material occuring with the biotite schist adjacent to the granite 
near the lake shore. 
From stock-pile. 

Taken from some sacked material piled near the principal underground workings. 
Vermiculite being extracted from the main trench. 

From five-foot zone of exposed vermiculite-like schistose material. 
Standard sample from the most northeastern pit. 
Taken by cross-sectioning the principal exposure. 



TABLE I 

Screen Analyses of Crude and Exfoliated Vermiculite Ore 

U. S. Series Sieve Numbers 





Crude Ore 








E. 


<foliated Ore 








Sample 

No. 


Cumulative 


Percent Retained On 






Crude 


Sizing- 


-4+10 


Crude Sizing — 


10+30 


Crude Sizing— 


30+60 






1" 


H" 


72 


4 


10 


30 


60 


-60 


% 
1+4 


%-4 
+10 


% 
-10 


% 
+ 10 


%-io 

+30 


% 
-30 


% 
+30 


%-30 
+60 


% 
-60 


1 








20.61 
24.95 
10.82 
16.10 
13.60 

28.75 

32.95 

4.94 

13.83 


44.41 

37.95 
34.47 
45.25 
30.48 

56.30 

52.77 

14.27 

39.47 

3.94 

83.83 
93.95 
61.37 
47.80 
31.99 

29.07 
16.48 
11.10 


62.57 
52.05 
55.68 
63.60 
44.95 

72.50 
67.06 
35.46 
58.96 
12.08 

89.76 
96.86 
71.22 
62.80 
53.69 

63.86 

58.33 

64.90 

0.19 

81.87 

41.74 
38.86 
48.98 
21.85 
34.03 

27.36 

48.15 
55.28 
65.44 
33.76 


85.87 
78.32 
77.88 
85.10 
71.85 

87.99 
84.01 
72.84 
83.53 
23.50 

96.03 

98.78 
84.54 
80.46 
80.88 

84.39 
90.50 
92.00 
73.94 
93.30 

62.12 
64.14 
71.23 
54.00 
65.85 

61.07 
75.90 
83.33 
92.44 
77.86 


94.38 
91.53 
89.40 
93.99 
88.71 

94.50 

92.36 
88.55 
93.85 
64.60 

98.31 
99.50 
92.92 
90.66 
91.06 

92.20 

95.95 
96.67 
92.58 
97.62 

81.92 
82.66 
85.17 
79.05 
80.98 

82.69 
89.75 
92.13 
98.12 
93.27 


5.62 
8.47 

10.60 
6.01 

11.29 

5.50 
7.64 

11.45 
6.15 

35.40 

1.69 
.50 
7.08 
9.34 
8.94 

7.80 
4.05 
3.33 
7.42 
2.38 

18.08 
17.34 
14.83 
20.95 
9.02 

17.31 

10.25 

7.87 

1.88 

6.73 


17.5 
3.4 
18.6 
16.9 
15.2 

25.5 
22.5 
25.5 
27.0 


56.5 
60.4 
58.1 
59.1 
44.1 

41.6 
58.1 
46.2 
49.1 


26.0 
36.2 
23.3 
24.0 
40.7 

32.9 
19.4 
28.3 
23.9 


15.0 
8.4 
16.5 
17.0 
11.7 

36.8 
14.7 
39.2 
17.2 
1.2 

9.6 
21.4 

9.9 
13.0 
26.6 

34.8 
11.1 
44.0 
23.0 
15.7 

5.2 

13.5 

9.2 

8.2 

22.1 

15.7 
15.2 


78.8 
78.9 
72.9 
73.8 
74.1 

56.4 
69.5 
60.0 
69.5 
65.6 

77.4 
66.0 
77.7 
73.3 
68.7 

62.7 
85.2 
50.6 
68.0 
70.3 

62.2 
80.5 
72.4 
77.2 
45.8 

75.9 
62.9 


6.2 
12.7 
10.6 

9.2 
14.2 

6.8 
15.8 

0.7 
13.3 
32.8 

13.0 
12.6 
12.4 
13.7 

4.7 

2.5 
2.7 
5.4 
9.0 
14.0 

32.6 
6.0 
18.4 
14.6 
32.1 

8.4 
21.9 


26.5 
13.9 
11.6 
15.1 

13.6 

16.2 
11.9 
54.6 
20.4 
6.0 

18.7 
24.1 
15.9 
22.0 
26.5 

24.2 
28.0 
26.1 
26.7 
17.9 

15.0 
27.0 
10.8 
22.3 
25.3 

28.4 

15.7 


69.5 
74.0 
78.4 
77.5 
70.8 

77.0 
74.7 
42.1 
62.4 
87.8 

73.7 
68.5 
70.3 
73.3 
67.8 

70.2 
67.0 
64.6 
67.0 
72.4 

75.2 
64.0 
87.0 
69.7 
64.3 

66.4 

76.2 


4.0 


2 








12.1 


3 








10.0 


4 








7.4 


5 








15.6 


6 








6.8 


7 








13.4 


8 








4.3 


9 








17.2 


10 








6.2 


11 
12 
13 


4S.00 
63.80 


54.57 
74.20 


62.52 
80.56 


69.59 

85.07 

40.22 

24.30 

6.17 

3.13 
2.19 


16.5 
29.3 
10.0 
18.8 
26.7 

35.2 

8.4 

21.2 


66.6 
44.5 
50.6 
48.3 
53.9 

57.8 
79.4 
54.3 


16.9 
26.2 
39.4 
22.9 
19.4 

7.0 
12.2 

24.5 


7.6 

7.5 

13.8 


14 








4.7 


IS 








5.7 


16 








5.6 


17 








5.0 


18 








9.3 


19 










6.3 


20 








30.59 

9.07 

10.65 

1.26 


69.58 

29.38 
23.76 
32.87 
3.93 
16.01 

11.95 

34.24 
27.38 
34.44 
17.43 


8.3 

0.0 

10.4 

10.1 

5.0 

3.4 

22.5 
39.3 


41.8 

23.4 
42.7 
58.0 
41.3 
37.0 

44.9 
40.3 


49.9 

76.6 
46.9 
31.9 
53.7 
59.6 

32.6 
20.4 


9.7 


21 








9.8 


22 








9.0 


23 








13.0 


24 








8.0 


25 








9.81 

4.12 

11.14 

10.24 

2.32 

6.93 


10.4 


26 








5.2 


27 








8.1 


28 










29 








24.5 
4.9 


64.4 
46.3 


11.1 

48.8 


31.6 

9.3 


65.7 

81.6 


2.7 
9.1 


45.2 
19.6 


50.2 

75.5 


4.6 


30 








4.9 













The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



48 



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The Vermiculite Deposits of North Carolina 



TABLE III 
Chemical Composition 47 



Sample No. 


Si0 2 


AFO 3 


Fe 2 O s 


MgO 


K 2 


Na 2 


Ignition Loss 


Total 


1 


37.40 
33.58 
37.04 
36.40 
35.80 
36.01 
34.10 
34.70 
33.00 
No ana 
No ana 
No ana 
40.80 
33.94 
40.16 
34.34 
No ana 
36.80 
35.82 
38.40 
35.68 
38.20 
35.36 
35.68 
37.02 
33.96 
33.80 
No ana 
34.66 
34.96 
39.00 
59.90 
29.98 


11.69 
22.80 
10.53 
22.68 
16.13 
9.42 
12.24 
11.16 
15.44 

lysis made 

lysis made 

lysis made 

11.30 
13.16 
12.98 
14.08 

lysis made 

12.48 
10.64 
8.83 
14.53 
21.89 
19.25 
13.99 
16.77 
10.57 
14.66 

lysis made 

11.72 
15.91 
18.64 
17.79 
22.89 


2.61 

4.98 

4.96 

7.12 

14.75 

4.64 

6.46 

12.34 

13.36 

5.70 

3.64 

12.58 

15.48 

5.52 

14.06 

15.57 

2.15 

5.13 

14.57 

9.11 

14.91 

7.45 

6.62 

13.08 

15.90 

15.16 

8.11 

2.23 


24.24 
21.44 
28.95 
15.70 
11.73 
29.83 
29.00 
22.03 
23.97 

24.98 
24.84 
18.52 
16.60 

25.04 
27.25 
26.43 
24.65 
26.30 
20.50 
22.30 
22.40 
33.00 
31.10 

21.89 
24.80 
23.10 
10.10 
28.40 






24.40 
18.00 
17.60 
18.40 
18.55 
19.55 
18.60 
13.18 
15.18 

18.00 

19.04 

9.28 

10.80 

21.50 
11.10 

10.50 

21.63 

7.43 

11.23 

18.20 

8.37 

9.57 

12.08 

13.86 
9.12 
3.80 
3.70 

14.05 


100.34 


2 






100.80 


3 






99.08 


4 






100.30 


s 






96.96 


6 






99.45 


7 






100.40 


8 
9 


2.48 


4.08 


99.97 
100.95 


10 
11 
12 
13 






100.78 


14 






94.62 


IS 
16 
17 
18 


3.81 
4.26 


3.50 
4.30 


100.83 
99.86 

101.34 


19 






98.87 


20 






99.73 


21 






98.64 


22 






98.95 


23 






100.91 


24 






99.28 


25 






99.47 


26 

27 


0.15 


1.98 


96.68 
98.26 


28 
29 
30 


0.60 


3.44 


99.25 
100.69 


A 






99.70 


B 






99.60 


c 






97.55 











A is sample of expanded vermiculite from Bee Tree plant (Swannanoa). 
B is sample of kyanite matrix from contact zone at Cane Creek property. 
C is sample of chlorite from Mincev mine (Ellijay). 
"Analyst, W. A. Reid, Chemist, Division of Mineral Resources, Dept. of Conservation and Development, Raleigh, N. C. 



Norili Cero'!:: 3 
Raleigh, 



\h 



In. 



! -e Library 
G 



F8b28'64SL 



• 

Date 






Due 


MAM-tLTL- 


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m s m -imsm "*- 


^ S 1995 1 


Mi 1 ' 














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BRODART.INC. Cat No 23 233 Printed ,n U b A 



A